Year-to-date deficit falls to P5-B; revenues up 13% in first 2 months. A budget surplus was achieved by the Aquino administration in February as revenues increased by almost half amid rising expenditures as government front ends spending.
The government posted a surplus of P10.655 billion in February, a reversal of the P21.490-billion budget deficit a year ago. In total, the government collected P119.189 billion in revenues against P108.534 billion worth of expenditures.
The February surplus trimmed the year-to-date deficit to P5.288 billion, an improvement of more than a third from levels seen last year. Revenues amounted to P245.543 billion while disbursements totaled P250.831 billion.
Government still operates under a primary surplus worth P31.226 billion in February and P65.563 billion for the first two months of 2012.
Double-digit growth for revenues
Tax administration efforts continue to boost revenue collections as agencies achieved significant growth rates in February.
State revenues ballooned by almost half year on year in the month of February to P119.189 billion. A 13.7% year-on-year uptick meanwhile led to revenues of P245.543 billion as of February.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), which accounts for 70% of state tax revenues, led the gains, increasing its collections by 28.6% in February, the highest monthly year-on-year growth in two decades without new tax measures. It collected a total of P68.694 billion that month against previous yearâ€™s P53.418 billion.
This put BIR back on track to meeting its full-year goal with collections for the first two months of the year reaching P153.841 billion, 20% more than last year’s haul and about P3 billion ahead of its target from January to February.
A similar 20% growth was recorded by the Bureau of Customs in February, taking in P22.433 billion, bulk of which is in cash. The figure was higher than the P18.583 billion collected in February 2011. To date, Customs already raked in P44.423 billion, 13.6% up from some P39 billion a year ago.
Meanwhile, remittances from government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) boosted the February collections of the Bureau of the Treasury by more than 600%. These remittances, which were remitted February this year, in contrast to the January remittance in 2011, pulled up year-to-date collections to P31.187 billion.
Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima on Tuesday said the February fiscal performance affirms the government’s strategy on raising more revenues and being prudent on its spending.
“We are committed to further improve government’s balance sheet to attain investment grade rating and lower borrowings costs, while at the same time boosting investments in social and economic services to improve productivity and economic growth,” Purisima said.
“These developments only strengthen our resolve to further improve tax administration and to pass into law the reforms in the excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol and in the fiscal incentives regime,” he added.