April fiscal deficit surpasses ceiling at P36.8B

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The national government’s fiscal deficit reached the highest level and surpassed the programmed ceiling for the month of April at P36.8 billion, the Bureau of Treasury (BTr) reported on Monday.

In a statement, the bureau noted that the fiscal deficit exceeded the P32.8-billion program for the month.

“I am pleased to report that the Philippine National Government Fiscal Performance for April 2013 reflects the fruit of our redoubled tax collection efforts, as our April tax collections post an impressive year-on-year increase,” according to Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima.

It added that from January to April, government’s fiscal deficit was registered at P29.7 billion, significantly higher compared to last year but still within the government’s P41-billion cap for the period.

Furthermore, revenue collections in April reached P190 billion, about 2 percent, or P3 billion higher than programmed.

The BTr continued that because of intensified tax collection efforts and reforms, collections by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) grew 28 percent year-on-year to P149 billion, exceeding its P145.8-billion target.

However, the BTr also stated that the Bureau of Customs (BOC) still failed to reach collections program, as it only collected P27.1 billion for the period. It was 7 percent higher than last year, but still P2.2 billion under program.

On the other hand, BTr income rose 54 percent to 6.3 billion year-on-year, surpassing its P4.6-billion target for April.

The bureau added that revenue from other offices amounted to P7.6 billion were the same year-on-year, but still surpassed the P7.2 program for the period.

In addition, total tax revenues amounted to P177.3 billion, representing 93 percent of total revenues, while the remaining P12.7 billion came from nontax sources.

Meanwhile, the BTr also reported that national spending for April amounted to P153.2 billion. Actual disbursements went up by 25.3 percent year-on-year.

It added that interest payments amounting to P23.7 billion made up 15.5 percent of total expenditures for the month.

For January to April, total disbursements amounted to P584 billion, or 12.9 percent higher than comparable disbursements in 2012.

Netting out interest payments as a part of expenditures, the government recorded a primary surplus of P60.5 billion in April and P92.3 billion within the first four months of the year, the bureau noted.

“The new budgeting regimes introduced so far—the one-year validity of all appropriations, the policy against lump sum funds, procurement innovations that enable the early tender of projects, and tighter focus on the administration’s priority deliverables, among others—bolster the government’s capacity to deliver the people’s development priorities,” according to Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad.

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