• Government incurs fiscal deficit of P11.2 billion in October

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    The government incurred an P11.2-billion budget deficit for the month of October, bringing the 10-month shortfall to P112.5 billion, data from the Department of Finance (DOF) showed on Thursday.

    The agency said that the national government’s (NG) budget deficit for the month was “well within” the P152.7 billion programmed by the Aquino administration for the period.

    Netting out interest payments, the government achieved a P9.2-billion primary surplus for October 2013, bringing the year-to-date primary surplus to P166.1 billion and exceeding the P132.3-billion target for the period.

    “Primary surplus shows that the fundamental operations of our government remain supported by our strong revenue collections. The commitment to efficient budget disbursement has not compromised our fiscal health,” the agency stated.

    On the other hand, DOF data showed that revenues for October totaled to P134.32 billion against expenditures of P145.5 billion.

    Aggregate revenues for January to October summed up to P1.4 trillion, financing P1.5 trillion in expenditures.

    The agency added that the P1.4-trillion total revenue as of end-October reflected a 12-percent or P147.6-billion improvement over comparable collections last year.

    The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) was able to collect P95.6 billion in October, increasing collections by 11 percent year-on-year while the Bureau of Customs (BOC) collections amounted to P27.9 billion, growing 3 percent year-on-year. The Bureau of Treasury (BTr) and other government offices contributed P3.6 billion and P7.3 billion, respectively.

    Meanwhile, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima reported that sin tax collections grew by 63.9 percent in the first three quarters of 2013, tallying at P63.6 billion, a large increase from the P38.8 billion collected in the same period last year.

    “The first three quarters already account for 73 percent of the total projected excise tax collections for 2013. P34 billion of that revenue is attributable to the incremental revenues from RA [Republic Act] 10351, or the Sin Tax Law enacted on December 20, 2012,” said Purisima.

    On a year-to-date basis, BIR and BOC collections of P993.5 billion and P252.5 billion grew 16 percent and 5 percent compared to collections in the same period last year, respectively. On the other hand, BTr (P71.7 billion) and other offices (P83.1 billion) exceeded revenue targets for January to October of 2013 by 46 percent and 5 percent, respectively.

    Expenditures hit P145.5B
    Expenditures of the national government amounted to P145.5 billion for October, bringing the January to October level to P1.513 trillion, an 11-percent increase over the same period in 2012.

    Interest payments in October totaled P20.5 billion, 4 percent lower than last year’s payment as a result of net redemption of 10-year fixed rate treasury bonds amounting to P2.2 billion for the period.

    Total interest payments for the first 10 months of the year totaled P278.6 billion, remaining below the P285-billion target, bringing January to October interest savings to P6.4 billion.

    As a percentage of expenditures, January to October interest payments continued to show improvements as it narrowed to 18 percent of disbursements from 19 percent last year.

    Mayvelin U. Caraballo

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