ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Gov’t incurs P50.5-billion budgetary deficit in July
The national government’s budget deficit was flat in July, but fell below the ceiling set for the month owing to strong revenue collections, data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed the day before yesterday.
The Duterte administration incurred a P50.5-billion fiscal deficit last month, almost unchanged compared with P50.7 billion in the same month last year, the treasury bureau reported.
But against program, the national government was below by more than three-fifths against P147.74 billion for July.
Netting out the interest payments from expenditures, the national government recorded a P5.9 billion primary deficit, 45 percent lower than last year’s level.
Sought for comments, Finance Undersecretary and Chief Economist Gil S. Beltran said yesterday that the government’s July fiscal figures were good, noting both revenue and spending numbers increased by double-digits.
In July, total revenues rose 14 percent year-on-year to P194.6 billion from P170.3 billion in the same period last year. Of that amount, tax collections reached P174.5 billion, while non-taxes amounted P20.1 billion.
“As for July, it’s a good number at 14 percent, it’s higher than the growth in GDP [gross domestic product],” Beltran told reporters, referring to the country’s second-quarter economic expansion of 6.5 percent.
“But of course, it would have been higher were it not for the export oriented nature of growth. Exports are not subject to tax, so it would have been higher if it not for that,” the finance official said.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue raised P138.1 billion during the month, a 18 percent jump compared with P117.4 billion last year, while the Bureau of Customs generated P35 billion, also higher by 13 percent year-on-year from P31 billion.
Meanwhile, the government’s expenditures improved by 11 percent last month to P245.1 billion from P220.9 billion in the previous year.
Beltran said that spending was catching up both in June and last month, adding the government is also expected to further accelerating disbursements in the remaining months of the year as projects are set to be awarded.
In the first seven months of the year, the national government posted a P205-billion budget deficit higher by 20 percent from P171 billion in the same period last year.
At end-July, government revenues reached P1.243 trillion, an increase of 8 percent from P1.271 trillion. Of that amount, the BIR collected P986 billion, while the Customs bureau generated P245.3 billion.
On the other hand, public expenditures rose 9 percent during January to July period to P1.576 billion from P1.442 trillion in the same months last year.
“For the whole year, they are slightly catching up if you look at the target. The whole year [spending] target is 14.1 percent. On the revenues, collecting offices are moving towards their goal, they exceeded their target in July, but they are still behind year-to-date,” Beltran said.
“We hope that the growth [in revenues] will be sustained so that by the end of the year, they will exceed their target. They are only expecting 10 percent growth e for the whole,” he added.--Manila Bulletin
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