Govt incurs P23.7-b deficit

The government ran a budget deficit of P23.7 billion in February 2017, a third lower than P34.6 billion a year ago, as revenue generation outpaced spending growth, the Bureau of the Treasury said Thursday.

“The trend is reflected as well in the lower cumulative shortfall from January to February amounting to P21.5 billion against P38.1 billion in 2016,” the Treasury said in a statement.

Revenue collection rose 9 percent in February to P151.8 billion from P139 billion a year earlier, while expenditures increased 1 percent to P175.6 billion from P173.6 billion.

“January to February revenues grew by 10 percent year-on-year behind reforms set in place among revenue collecting agencies as well as the pickup in economic activity for the period. Tax revenues accounted for 91 percent of total collections in February,” the agency said.

Net debt interest payments climbed 14 percent in February to P24.2 billion from P21.3 billion in the same month last year.

“The increase in interest payments for the month is due to coupon payments and other charges relating to liability management transactions in 2016 and the early part of 2017. Year to date, expenditures registered a positive growth of 4 percent,” the Treasury said.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue collected P105 billion in February, up 12 percent year-on-year, sustaining a double-digit growth this year.

Data showed that in the first two months, total BIR collections increased 13 percent to P253 billion from P224.5 billion.

The Bureau of Customs said import tariff collection rose 14 percent in February to P30.9 billion and 15 percent in the first two months to P66.8 billion.

Topics: budget deficit , revenue generation , spending growth , Bureau of the Treasury
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