• Fiscal deficit reaches P13.16 billion in May

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    The national government’s fiscal deficit fell short of target as it reached P13.164 billion for the month of May, the Department of Finance (DOF) said on Thursday.

    In a statement, the DOF reported that the fiscal deficit was 37 percent lower than the P20.9-billion program for the month.

    “This brings the year-to-date deficit to P42.8 billion, 31 percent below the P61.9-billion program for the period,” it stated.

    From January to May, the fiscal deficit of the government reached P42.839 billion.

    For May alone, the DOF said that revenues totaled P154.039 billion against expenditures of P167.203 billion.

    For the first five months of the year, aggregate revenues summed up to P708.374 billion, financing P751.213 billion in expenditures.

    Furthermore, the Finance department said that revenues for May grew 17 percent compared with the same month last year, driven mainly by improved collections from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and dividends remitted to the Bureau of Treasury (BTr).

    The DOF said that revenues for May totaled P154.039 billion, bringing the five-month total to P708.374 billion, higher by 10 percent compared with the revenues for the same five-month period last year.

    Collections by the BIR and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) were recorded at P111.899 and P25.925 billion, respectively, while BTr income reached P9.418 billion. Collections from other offices amounted to P6.797 billion.

    “Total tax revenues amounted to P632.993 billion, representing 89 percent of total revenues while the remaining 11 percent came from nontax revenues,” it stated.

    Meanwhile, actual disbursements for May amounted to P167.203 billion corresponding to a 10.5-percent increase year-on-year.

    However, disbursements for May was P10.7 billion, or 6-percent below the budget.

    Year-on-year, expenditures were up P16 billion, or 11 percent for the May.

    For the first five months, total disbursements for January to May amounted to P751.213 billion, 12.4 percent higher than comparable disbursements in 2012.

    On the other hand, interest payments amounting to P138.718 billion made up 18 percent of total expenditures, while primary surplus for the first five months amounted to P95.879 billion.

    According to Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, the strong collection performance of the government provides plenty of room for further expansion of its priority programs.

    “The cash operations report so far shows that we continue to be well within our deficit ceilings despite the healthy pace of our expenditures program,” Purisima said.

    He added that the government’s resilient revenues gave space for liability management activities in these volatile economic conditions.

    “We are closely monitoring market developments for opportunities to further strengthen our fiscal position,” Purisima added.

    For his part, the Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said that government spending continues to be robust, backed by improved obligation rates among key agencies and a stronger fiscal base to support critical expenditures.

    “Our performance for the first five months of the year is a strong indicator of the direction we intend to take for the second semester,” Abad said.

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