Home Top News Double-digit growth in revenues, expenditures continues — DoF chief

Double-digit growth in revenues, expenditures continues — DoF chief

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THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT (NG) continues to see double-digit growth in revenue collection and spending as of mid-March, Finance Secretary Ralph G. Recto said.

“For the last two months and a half, our revenues are 20% up year on year while spending is 10% up year on year, so we do have a surplus,” Mr. Recto told reporters late on Tuesday.

The NG posted a budget surplus of P88 billion in January, 92.25% higher than the P42.2- billion surplus registered in the same month in 2023. January also saw the highest monthly fiscal surplus since 1986, or the earliest available data from the Treasury.

This was driven by a 21.15% jump in revenues to P421.8 billion and an increase in expenditures by 10.39% to P333.9 billion.

“In fact, last January, (it was the) first time we had a surplus of roughly P88 billion, almost double that of January 2023. So far, we’re hitting the numbers, surpassing the targets, and we hope that continues,” he added.

However, Mr. Recto said the fiscal balance is unlikely to stay in a surplus until the end of the year.

“For me, for as long as we hit our targets — our revenue targets and our expenditure targets — I don’t expect a surplus by the end of the year. I’m just stating a fact,” he said.

“There is a surplus in January, there is a surplus in February. So far, the revenue seems to be good. I hope that holds all the way up to the end of the year,” he added.

This year, the NG’s deficit ceiling is capped at P1.39 trillion or 5.1% of gross domestic product (GDP). The government seeks to bring this further down to 3% by 2028.

In 2023, the budget deficit narrowed by 6.32% to P1.51 trillion from P1.61 trillion in the previous year. However, it exceeded by 0.85% the P1.499-trillion ceiling for the year.

As of end-2023, the deficit as a share of GDP stood at -6.2%. This was a tad higher than the -6.1% target set by the government but lower than the -7.3% deficit-to-GDP ratio at end-2022.

Mr. Recto said that the Department of Finance (DoF) wants the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Bureau of Customs (BoC) to use data in improving tax collection.

“We’re assisting the BIR and BoC by analyzing all the data and (providing) them with that data as well, where to concentrate to collect the taxes and (who) they should be collecting the taxes from,” he added.

This year, the BIR is tasked to collect P3.055 trillion in revenues while Customs is expected to collect P959 billion. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson

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