Gov’t posts P45.7-B budget surplus

In January

At a glance

  • The national government posts a P45.75 billion budget surplus in January, a reversal of the P23.38 billion deficit recorded in the same month of 2022.

  • Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno says the favorable outcome was a result of revenues outgrowing government spending: revenues grew by 25.2 percent while expenditures rose by 0.3 percent.

  • In January, tax collections rise 19 percent to P305.43 billion, while non-tax revenues accelerate by 90 percent to P42.73 billion.

  • For 2023, the economic managers expect the government’s budget deficit to hit P1.47 trillion, equivalent to 6.1 percent of GDP.

The Department of Finance (DOF) reported that the national government posted a budget surplus in the first-month of the year owing to robust revenue collection and weak public spending.

Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said on Friday, March 17, that the government fiscal surplus reached P45.75 billion in January, a reversal of the P23.38 billion deficit incurred in the same month last year.

Diokno explained that the favorable fiscal position was registered after revenues outgrew government expenditures.

Data from the DOF showed that total revenue haul increased by 25 percent to P348.17 billion in January from P278.07 billion last year.

Of that amount, tax collections improved 19 percent year-on-year to P305.43 billion from P255.62 billion. On the other hand, non-tax revenues accelerated by 90 percent from P22.45 billion to P42.73 billion.

According to the DOF, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the government’s main tax agency, generated P234.82 billion in January, up 20 percent compared with P195.77 billion a year ago.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Customs collected P70.59 billion during the month, also 21 percent higher against its P58.34 billion tax take in January last year.

On the other hand, public spending rose at a snail’s pace in January from P301.46 billion to P302.42 billion.

Netting out the interest payments, the government recorded a primary surplus of P92.72 billion in the first month of 2023, an increase of more than double compared with P42.17 billion in the same month last year.

In 2023, the economic managers expect the national government’s budget deficit to hit P1.47 trillion, equivalent to 6.1 percent of the economy, or gross domestic product (GDP).

This year’s fiscal deficit ceiling of the Marcos administration is narrower than the actual P1.614 trillion incurred in 2022.

Earlier, Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said the budget deficit incurred last year still “bodes well” with the Marcos administration’s medium term targets despite exceeding the economic managers’ ceiling.

Pangandaman said on Tuesday, March 7, that the 7.33 percent budget deficit to GDP ratio in 2022 was a welcome development, citing it was lower than the previous year’s 8.6 percent.

Pangandaman also noted that the budget deficit ratio is below the 7.58 percent program under the Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing document submitted to Congress.