Gov’t posts first budget surplus in nearly two years

Published May 27, 2022, 3:53 PM

by Chino S. Leyco

The Duterte administration posted a P4.9 billion budget surplus in April—first time in nearly two years—on the back of strong revenue haul and dividends from state-owned companies amid a slowdown in government spending, the Bureau of the Treasury reported Friday, May 27.

The month of April has normally been marked by budget surpluses because the traditional tax filing deadline falls during the month. The previous record monthly surplus was P1.75 billion in June 2020.

The April 2022 surplus, however, was a reversal of the P44.4 billion fiscal deficit incurred the same month last year.

Revenues amounted to P348 billion, up 19 percent compared with P291.9 billion in April last year. Of that amount, tax haul jumped 13 percent to P306.9 billion, while non-tax revenues doubled to P41.1 billion.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue collected P239.6 billion last April, an increase of nine percent from P219 billion a year ago.

Likewise, collection of the Bureau of Customs rose 26 percent to P65.7 billion from P51.8 billion in April 2021.

In addition, the Treasury bureau generated P25.7 billion in revenues, mainly from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) and Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).

Treasury’s income in April grew 184 percent from P9 billion in the previous year.

Meanwhile, government expenditures inched up by only two percent from P336.3 billion to P343 billion.

Based on the Treasury report, interest payments rose 56 percent to P37.3 billion, while other expenses, which cover expenditures on infrastructure projects, declined two percent to P305.7 billion.

The government registered a primary surplus of P42.2 billion in April, a turnaround of the P20.6 billion deficit in the previous year.

At end-April, the national government’s budget deficit totaled P311.9 billion, lower by 15 percent compared with P365.9 billion in the same period last year.

Revenues in the first three-months amounted to P1.132 trillion, 14 percent higher than last year’s P988.4 billion, while expenditures increased six percent year-on-year from P1.354 trillion to P1.444 trillion.