THE government reported a budgetary shortfall in July that narrowed to only P1.8 billion, bringing down the seven-month budget deficit to P55.7 billion, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) said on Friday.
The government attributed the narrower deficit to higher government collection and expenditures that showed a dip of 15 percent from that made in July 2013.
The year-to-date budgetary shortfall of P55.7 billion was also 47 percent lower than the deficit recorded from January to June 2014, which aggregated P104.5 billion.
Total revenues for the month of July amounted to P166.7 billion, or 15 percent higher than revenues in July 2013. This brought the year-to-date revenue collection to P1.1 trillion, a 12-percent increase from figures registered during the same seven-month period last year.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) collected P119.9 billion in July, while the Bureau of Customs (BOC) collected P30.5 billion.
The Treasury’s income amounted to P7.5 billion, down by 6 percent from its income in July 2013, because of lower interest earned from the national government’s investments and deposits. This brought the total income of the Treasury to P70.4 billion, up by 23 percent from figures in January to July 2013, because of an increase in dividend collections and interest income.
Other revenue-generating offices contributed P8.8 billion, bringing the year-to-date revenues of these offices to P63 billion, or a 5-percent increase from their collection in January-to-July 2013 period.
The narrower budgetary shortfall in the first seven months of the year was also brought about by slower disbursement of government funds. In July the government disbursed P168.5 billion, which was 15 percent lower than expenditures incurred in July 2013. However, year-to-date expenditures aggregated P1.16 trillion, still 6 percent higher than aggregate spending for the same period last year.
Interest payments data continued to improve, with interest payments in July amounting only to P48.2 billion, compared to P53.5 billion in July 2013.
The total interest payments from January to July, which aggregated P208 billion, was only 1 percent lower than interest payments in the same period last year. However, the ratio of interest payments in relation to the total expenses of the government continued to decline as this dipped to 18 percent of total expenditures from 19.4 percent in the same month last year.
Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima said the remaining years of the Aquino administration must be used to push for economic reforms that helped bring about high growth in revenue collection and high local output measured as the gross domestic product (GDP). He said that, aside from the 11.8-percent growth in revenue collection, GDP also rebounded to 6.4 percent in the second quarter from growth of only 5.6 percent in the first quarter.
“These recent developments are testament that our thrust of good governance continues to be fundamental to creating a virtuous cycle of growth and investment in social services and improving the lives of Filipinos. However, our work here is not done. I see the remaining years of this administration as the pivotal moment to institutionalize reform and to augment productive investments. We will use this time to push for legislative reforms, raise revenues and manage our debt to effectively support the government’s key priorities,” Purisima said.