April Budget Posts P31-B Surplus

MANILA, Philippines -- The national government posted P31.024 billion budget surplus in April due as double-digit growth in revenue collections are more than enough to support an accelerated spending, the Department of Finance (DOF) announced yesterday.

In a statement, Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima said the government will continue to accelerate spending for the year to support growth, taking advantage of its large fiscal space to finance infrastructure projects and social programs.

The surplus of P31.024 billion has trimmed down year-to-date deficit to P2.885 billion. Revenues surged by more than a tenth in April and by 11.4 percent for the first four months of the year, while disbursements recorded an uptick of 9.1 percent and 12.1 percent, respectively.

For April alone, revenues stood at P153.268 billion, while expenditures amounted to P122.244 billion. From January to April, meanwhile, the government already collected P514.242 billion in revenues to finance P517.127 billion in expenditures.

Netting out interest payments, the government still operates under a primary surplus amounting to P111.742 billion as of April.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Bureau of Customs, other offices post double-digit expansion in April.

The government's premier revenue agencies led the collection growth last month, contributing to a four-month tally that was more than a tenth higher compared with last year, data showed.

As of April, the government already collected P514.242 billion, up 11.4 percent from P461.413 billion recorded a year ago. For last month alone, collections surged by 10.8 percent to P153.268 billion.

The BIR, which accounts for about 70 percent of total tax revenues, led the pack with the deadline on the payment of income taxes resulting in a 12.2 percent growth in collections last month. BIR collected P116.021 billion in April against previous year's P103.393 billion.

In the first four months of the year, BIR already collected P345.065 billion, an improvement of roughly 14 percent from P302.942 billion in 2011.

Meanwhile, Customs collections expanded by 13 percent last month, collecting P25.367 billion against last year's P22.440 billion. Bulk of the collections was in cash.

Customs now collected P94.896 billion in the four months to April, 11.6 percent up year-on-year. Broken down, a total of P94.319 billion was collected in cash, while the remaining was in the form of tax expenditure fund.

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