The government posted a budget surplus of P10.2 billion in January, or nearly five times higher than a year ago, following the implementation of the first phase of the tax reform program, data from the Bureau of Treasury show.
Data showed that revenues expanded 19-percent year-on-year in January, faster than the 15-percent growth in government spending.
“All major collecting agencies of the government posted positive y-o-y growth, leading to higher total revenues which grew P38.6 billion or 19 percent over last year’s figure to reach P238.9 billion,” the Treasury said in a statement.
Bulk of the revenue expansion came from Bureau of Internal Revenue collections which hit P175.6 billion in January, up 19 percent from a year earlier.
The growth was mainly driven by the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law which took effect on Jan. 1, 2018.
The Bureau of Customs collected P40.8 billion in revenues, an increase of 14 percent growth from a year ago, on the back of improved collection efficiency and intensive anti-corruption and anti-smuggling drive.
Income generated and collected by the Bureau of the Treasury slightly increased to P8.1 billion.
“The increment can be attributed to higher income from NG [national government] deposits as well as remittances of NG’s share from Pagcor [Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.] income and MIAA [Manila International Airport Authority] profit along with other government service income. These more than compensated for the lower investment income of the Bond Sinking Fund,” it said.
Non-tax collections from other offices grew 71 percent to P13.1 billion from a year ago, on improved collection.
The national government disbursed P228.7 billion in January, 15 percent or P30.6 billion higher than the comparable figures last year.
“Ramped up infrastructure spending as well as the implementation of the third tranche of compensation adjustment for government employees contributed to the month’s performance,” it said.
Total interest payments reached P43.5 billion in January, up 3 percent over the last year. Higher domestic interest payments drove the increase, mainly on account of the coupon payments for 2017 issuances including those for retail treasury bonds.
This more than offset the lower foreign interest payment posted in January due to the maturity of global bonds in 2017.
“Despite the increase, interest payments accounted for only 19 percent of total disbursements against the previous year’s 21 percent, showing that the growth in disbursements were for productive components of the budget which also grew by 19 percent, on year,” it said.
Netting out the interest payments from expenditures, the government recorded a P53.7-billion primary surplus in January, exceeding the primary surplus in the same period last year by 20 percent or P9.1 billion.