NATIONAL  GOVT  POSTS  P13.9-B  BUDGET  SURPLUS  IN  AUGUST

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 19, 2007
(STAR) By Iris C. Gonzales - The National Government posted a budget surplus of P13.9 billion in August, its second month in a row to post a surplus, Finance Secretary Margarito Teves announced yesterday.

Despite the rosy figures, Teves said the government still needs to work on sustaining its performance for the rest of the year and throughout 2008.

“We’re not yet out of the woods but we will continue to work very hard to be able to attain our monthly targets if not surpass them,” Teves told reporters.

Stronger revenues brought about by the improved collections of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and proceeds from the sale of the government’s stakes in Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC)-Energy Development Corp. allowed the government to post a surplus in August.

The August budget surplus brought the January to August fiscal deficit to P25.5 billion, lower than the deficit of P34.2 billion incurred in the same period last year.

“The lower deficit was a result of remittance to the National Government the final payment in the net proceeds for the sale of shares of PNOC-EDC in July and proceeds from the sale of Philippine National Bank (PNB) shares,” Teves said.

The government was able to raise around P17 billion from the sale of its 20-percent stake in PNOC-EDC.

Revenue collections for the eight-month period reached P731.4 billion or 25.4 percent higher than the P642.2 billion posted in the same period last year.

Of this, the BIR collected P473 billion, or eight percent higher than the P438 billion posted in the same period last year.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC), for its part, collected P133.9 billion, up by 3.5 percent compared to the P129.3 billion in the same period last year.

Revenues from the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr), on the other hand, reached P48.6 billion for the eight-month period compared to P46.5 billion posted in the same period last year.

Revenues from other offices such as the Land Transportation Office, Bureau of Fire Protection and the Manila International Airport Authority rose to P75.9 billion during the period from only P28.5 billion in the same period last year.

In August alone, total revenues reached 117.1 billion or 20.1 percent up from the 97.5 billion in the same period last year.

BIR collections for August rose to P79.6 billion or 12.5 percent higher than the P70.7 billion collected in the same period last year. Similarly, the BOC’s collections rose to P20.9 billion in August from P18.2 billion collected in the same period last year.

Revenues from BTr increased by 82 percent to P9 billion in August from P5 billion in the same month last year while revenues from other offices reached P7.6 billion from only P3.6 billion last year.

Expenditures, on the other hand, amounted to P756.9 billion for the eight-month period or 12 percent higher than the comparable disbursements in 2006 of P676.4 billion but significantly lower than the P891 billion that was programmed.

In August alone, expenditures reached P103.2 billion or higher than the P83.2 billion in disbursements in the same month last year.

With the government’s fiscal performance in August, Teves expressed confidence that the P63-billion yearend budget deficit goal would be achieved.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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