• DISBURSEMENTS SLOW DOWN

    Nov surplus hits P6.8B

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    The national government posted a P6.8 billion budget surplus last November despite the drop in revenues.

    The surplus trimmed down the 11- month total deficit to P26.8 billion from P33.6 billion in October and P111.5 billion in 2013.

    This means that late in the year, the government failed to spend more to spur growth.

    Disbursements slowed down by eight percent last November, reaching only P151.4 billion from P164 billion in same period in 2013.

    The Department of Finance (DOF) reported yesterday that the surplus in November was a reversal from the P2.5 deficit in December.

    Finance secretary Cesar Purisima said the government’s prudent fiscal management keeps the Philippines in the sweet spot of “virtuous cycle”, that will enable it to budget more for social services.

    In terms of primary budget, the data showed that the government recorded a P24.9 billion primary surplus for November, bringing the cumulative primary surplus to P265.5 billion.

    Primary budget figures exclude interest payments on foreign and domestic debt issues recorded during the month as an indicator of the management of expenditures apart from debt servicing. A primary budget surplus indicates that the government collected more revenue than it spent for projects and programs other than debt service.

    Purisima said the country’s “ virtuous cycle” is reflected by the recent Moody’s Investors Service credit rating upgrade, as well as improved scores in the Millennium Challenge Corporation scorecard leading to the country’s eligibility for a second grant.

    Revenue drops 4%

    Meanwhile, the DOF data showed that total revenue for the month declined by 4 percent year-on-year to P158.2 billion.

    The agency traced the contraction in revenue to the reduced collections of the Bureau
    of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

    Collections set aside for tax refunds reduced the revenue performance of BIR and the BOC by P9 billion and P6.5 billion, respectively, it noted.

    Year-to-date, collections of P1.7 trillion registered an 11. percent increase over comparable 2013 figures.

    Purisima said the quick-paced growth of year-to-date revenues leaves even more room for strategic government expenditures.

    “With increased fiscal space to invest in health, education, infrastructure, and other social services, we are able to reap even more rewards for the Filipino people. Such is the virtuous cycle put into motion by this administration’s conviction that good governance spurs good economics,” he said.

    BIR collections in November fell 4 percent to reach P121.9 billion, while the BOC was not able to sustain its double-digit growth as actual collections posted a 13-percent decrease year-on-year.

    Total income from the Bureau of Treasury also contracted by 10 percent to P3.4 billion. In contrast, collections from other offices posted a significant year-on-year growth of 27 percent, with P8.2 billion for the month, it added.

    On the other hand, disbursements by the national government amounted to P151.4 billion in November, 8 percent lower than the P164 billion in same period in 2013.

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