The government posted a P1.8-billion budget surplus in June, a reversal of the P41.8-billion deficit a year ago, as revenue collections jumped 50 percent with the reopening of the economy, data from the Bureau of the Treasury show.
“The fiscal surplus was driven by 50.06-percent growth in government receipts as the 2019 income taxes came in and the resumption of some economic activities, outpacing the 26.65-percent expansion in government spending,” the Treasury said in a statement.
It said despite the strong tax collection in June, the government incurred P560.4-billion deficit in the first six months. It was 25.4 percent below the P751.1-billion revised program but wider than last year’s budget gap of P42.6 billion.
Revenue collection hit P351.0 billion in June, up by 50 percent or P117.1 billion from last year’s P233.9 billion. Of the total, 93 percent or P325.4 billion came from taxes which accelerated by 54.56 percent, while the remaining 7 percent, or P25.6 billion, came from non-tax revenues.
Six-month revenue collection declined 6.09 percent to P1.453 trillion from P1.547 trillion a year earlier but 0.12 percent or P1.7 billion higher than the adjusted P1.451-trillion program.
The bulk of the collections came from the Bureau of Internal Revenue which improved its take by 79.10 percent in June to P282.7 billion, marking a recovery from three consecutive months of contraction.
“BIR’s strong performance for the period was attributed to the collection of the 2019 income tax dues during the month as well as the resumption of economic activities due to the easing of some quarantine restrictions,” the Treasury said.
This enabled the agency to collect P956.4 billion in the first half and surpassed its revised program of P933.5 billion for the period by 2.45 percent. This lagged behind last year’s actual revenue of P1.066 trillion by 10.31 percent or P109.9 billion.
Customs collection fell 16.97 percent in June to P42.6 billion because of the adverse impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on imports. Six-month collections of the Bureau of Customs also dropped 16.47 percent to P253.1 billion from a year ago and were 0.45 percent short of the P254.2-billion adjusted goal.
The Bureau of the Treasury generated P11.3 billion in June, beating last year’s level by 5.85 percent.
“Collections for the month were buoyed by higher remittance of interest on advances from GOCCs [government-owned and –controlled corporations] and dividends on shares of stocks held by the government which offset the decline in national government share from PAGCOR income,” the Treasury said.
Treasury income as of end-June reached P183.2 billion, or more than double the amount collected in the first semester of 2019. It also outperformed the original full-year target of P82.3 billion by P101.0 billion.
Revenue from other offices (other non-tax including privatization proceeds and fees and charges) went up 12.64 percent to P14.3 billion in June, which included the reversion of the P5-billion unutilized fund from the Small Business Wage Subsidy program.
Meanwhile, government spending climbed 26.65 percent in June to P349.2 billion from P275.7 billion a year earlier, on the back of major subsidies to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. and National Housing Authority.
This brought the cumulative expenditures to P2.013 trillion in first half, up 26.63 percent or P423.5 billion over the 2019 figure.
Primary spending (net of interest payment) in June increased by 30.42 percent over comparable figures a year ago, settling at P321.7 billion. Total primary expenditures in the first half grew by 29.50 percent to P1.826 trillion.