By Ernesto V. Afable
The Aquino government has registered a P2.523-billion surplus in August, resulting from revenues expanding 4.2% year-on-year to P129.408 billion, and expenditures expanding 10.4% year-on-year to P126.885 billion.
Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima reported that the Philippines continues to be in a fiscal sweet spot – with the surplus — generating wide fiscal space to stimulate the economy and to spend on key development projects, with the P71.208-billion deficit as of August still well below the 3rd Quarter program deficit of P183.343 billion.He bared that from January to August both sides of the national ledger have registered robust performances, with revenues improving 11.1% to P1.014 trillion and spending soaring 14.5% to P1.085 trillion, over the same period last year.
Purisima explained that the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s consistent revenue administration enabled the tax agency to muster P96.756 billion in collections in August, growing 10.0% over last year. So far, this is the sixth month that the largest collection bureau registered double-digit surges. As of August, collections grew to P701.432 billion, a 13.2% upsurge compared to the same period last year.He added that the Bureau of Customs has gathered P22.632 billion this month, bringing its total up to P190.448 billion as of August, a 10.7% improvement compared to the same period last year.
“Both of the major collection bureaus registered monthly revenues consistently higher than last year,” Purisima said.Meanwhile, the Bureau of Treasury collected P2.970 billion in August, bringing its total collections to P60.874 billion this year, 38% higher than target from January to August.
“The department is keen to see the passage of its revenue-generating legislative measures. The reform on excise taxes in tobacco and alcohol is one step closer to being enacted into law with the culmination of the Senate committee hearings. We expect the committee report to be finalized and sponsored for plenary debates and approval when session resumes in October,” Purisima said.
He bared that the Department of Finance and the Department of Trade and Industry have reached an agreement in principle on how to move forward on the rationalization of fiscal incentives, citing hope that the draft bill will be endorsed by both agencies to the Senate by mid-October.