December 4, 2023

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Budget gap widens in February as revenue collections decline

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By Keisha B. Ta-asan, Reporter

THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT’S (NG) budget deficit slightly widened in February as revenue collection slipped and spending was flat, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) reported on Monday.

Data from the BTr showed the Philippines’ budget gap reached P106.4 billion in February, up by 0.5% from P105.8 billion recorded in the same month in 2022.

Month on month, the NG’s fiscal balance swung back to a deficit in February from the P45.75-billion surplus in January.

“The fiscal performance was mainly attributed to a marginal 0.25% decrease in revenue collection, coupled with the flat expenditure outturn during the period,” the BTr said.

State revenue collections dipped by 0.25% year on year to P211.9 billion in February as tax revenues declined.

In February, tax revenues fell by 3.01% to P192.3 billion, amid a 5.29% drop in collections by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to P129.4 billion. The Bureau of Customs (BoC) reported a 5.83% rise in revenues to P62.9 billion for the month.

Nontax revenues, on the other hand, climbed by 38.37% to P19.6 billion in February, thanks to a 51.16% increase in income from the Bureau of the Treasury to P6.4 billion.

“The upturn was driven by the higher remittance of NG share from Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) earnings, as well as income from Bond Sinking Fund (BSF) investment and interest on NG deposits,” the Treasury said.

Nontax collections from other offices such as privatization proceeds and fees and charges, grew by 32.93% to P13.2 billion.

Nicholas Antonio T. Mapa, a senior economist at ING Bank N.V. Manila, said February revenue collections have declined as base effects waned.

“BIR collections were benefiting from the positive base effects due to the economic reopening but that appears to be ebbing,” Mr. Mapa said in an e-mail.

Union Bank of the Philippines, Inc. Chief Economist Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion said Customs collections also grew at a softer pace in…


2023-04-03 12:32:51

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