The government posted a budget surplus of P32.6 billion in August, the first under the Duterte administration, as the double-digit growth in revenue collections outpaced the rise in public expenditures, the Finance Department said Thursday.
Data from the Bureau of Treasury showed the budget surplus in August was more than double the P15-billion surplus recorded a year ago. It was also a reversal of the P50.7-billion deficit recorded in July.
This reduced the budget deficit in the first eight months to P138.4 billion, which was wider than the P3.4-billion shortfall registered in the same period in 2015.
The government said netting out debt interest payments, it posted a primary balance surplus of P24.6 billion in August.
Government revenues in August climbed 19 percent year-on-year to P209.6 billion, bringing year-to-date collections to P1.48 trillion.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue was able to recover from a contraction in the previous month and posted a 14-percent growth in collection to P157.5 billion in August. This resulted in a P1.058-trillion revenue collection in January to August.
Customs collection jumped 23 percent to P33.1 billion in August and 8 percent to P254.6 billion in the eight-month period.
Bureau of the Treasury’s income also posted a strong growth of 117 percent to P5.8 billion in August, bringing the eight-month tally to P78.6. billion.
“The growth was due to the P2.8 billion year-on-year increase in the NG’s income from Bond Sinking Fund and SSF transactions,” the Treasury said.
Collections from other offices also increased 75 percent in August to P12 billion from the last year’s level. Eight-month collections of other offices reached P78.3 billion, 47 percent lower than a year ago, because of the P62.5-billion one-off transfer of the coconut levy assets to the Bureau of the Treasury last year.
“The new government has committed to raise public investments in infrastructure, human capital and social protection for vulnerable sectors, as part of President Duterte’s 10-point socioeconomic agenda to sustain high growth and make its benefits trickle down to all Filipinos,” the Finance Department said in a statement.
“But to help raise needed funds for public investments, the government is pursuing a comprehensive tax reform program to discourage evasion and avoidance, broaden the tax system’s narrow base and make the current system simpler and more equitable,” it said.
Meanwhile, government spending in August increased 9 percent to P177 billion from P161.6 billion a year earlier.
This brought total expenditures in the first eight months to P1.619 trillion, up by 12 percent from the same eight-month period last year.
Debt interest payments made by the government rose 42 percent year-on-year in August to P23.4 billion. Interest payments hit P217.2 billion in the first eight months.