Fiscal shortfall hits P101B

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The government recorded a P101.2-billion fiscal shortfall for the first nine months of the year, data from the Department of Finance (DOF) showed on Wednesday.

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The January to September fiscal deficit is well within government target of P144.5 billion for the period.

For September alone, the government incurred an P18.6-billion deficit, 43 percent or P14.2 billion lower compared to the same period last year.

In terms of revenues, the agency noted that revenue collections in September reached P127.3 billion, 20.9 percent or P22 billion higher compared to the same period last year.

Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) collections was recorded at P86 billion reflecting a 21.1-percent year-on-year revenue growth, while the Bureau of Customs (BOC) posted P25.7 billion in revenues or a 10.9-percent increase.

Revenue from other offices grew 21.4 percent from a year ago to P8.4 billion, while Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) income rose 72.7 percent year-on-year to P7.2 billion.

On the other hand, the data added that revenue collections from January to September showed an improvement of 13 percent accumulating to P1.266 trillion. Actual collections for the first nine months of the year were recorded at P898 billion for BIR and P224.6 billion for BOC, growing 16 percent and 5 percent, respectively, on a year-on-year basis. BTr income totaled P68.1 billion and other offices contributed P75.9 billion.

Total tax revenues amounted to P112.8 billion, representing 89 percent of total revenues while the remaining P14.5 billion came from nontax sources.

Disbursements
DOF data also showed that actual disbursements for September amounted to P145.9 billion, reflecting a 5.7-percent or P7.8-billion increase year-on-year. Interest payments amounting to P29.2 billion accounted for 19 percent of total expenditures for the period.

Total disbursements for January to September reached P1.367 trillion, 12 percent higher than comparable disbursements in 2012. Netting out interest payments as a part of expenditures, the national government recorded a primary surplus of P10.6 billion in September and P156.9 billion within the first nine months of the year.

In a statement, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said that growth on both the revenue and expenditure sides marked strengthening fiscal fundamentals.

“The September report shows an even healthier picture of government fiscal performance as our revenues posted a strong increase over last year’s collections. Coupled with strong growth in our expenditures over the first nine months of the year, we can see that the dynamism of our operations has yet to wane even as we approach the last quarter of 2013,” he said.

Purisima particularly noted the government’s primary surplus of P156.9 billion, which for the first three quarters of 2013, increased by 13 percent compared to the primary surplus of P139.2 billion for the same period last year.

Furthermore, the Finance chief reported that the government collected P56.3 billion from the sin tax as of the end of August, or 61.1 percent higher compared to the same period a year ago.

Collections from tobacco products was at P35 billion while collections from alcohol products rose to P21.3 billion, increases of 77.7 percent and 39.6 percent, respectively.

“Our BIR is targeting a total collection of P85.86 billion in sin taxes this year, and we expect that as the next tier of tax increases go into effect toward a unitary tax rate by 2017, we will see even greater increases to fund our public health measures and other investments in our people,” Purisima stated.

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