FOR the first time in nine months, the national government (NG) posted a budget surplus of P45.75 billion in January as revenues outpaced government spending for the month.
Citing latest Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) data, Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said the NG reversed the P23.382-billion budget deficit it posted in January of last year.
“This favorable outcome was a result of revenues outgrowing government spending: revenues grew by 25.2 percent, while spending rose by 0.3 percent,” Diokno told reporters on Friday.
“Net of interest payments, the NG’s primary surplus for January was P92.7 billion, more than double the P42.2 billion primary surplus posted in the same month last year,” Diokno added.
The last time that the NG registered a budget surplus was in April 2022 at P4.936 billion.
The January budget surplus was also the biggest in more than three years or since the P86.872-billion surplus recorded in April 2019, based on historical Treasury data.
Treasury data showed that total NG revenues in January reached P348.167 billion, P70.092 billion higher than the P278.075 billion it earned in the same month of last year.
Meanwhile, the NG’s total spending in January rose by P961 million to P302.418 billion from P310.457 billion a year ago.
Both the revenue collections by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) rose by a double-digit rate on an annual basis in January.
The BIR’s tax revenue rose by a fifth to P234.819 billion from P195.775 billion last year. The BOC, meanwhile, collected P70.591 billion in January, 21 percent higher than the P58.346 billion it recorded last year.
The Philippines’s budget deficit last year fell by 3.35 percent to P1.614 trillion from P1.67 trillion as total revenues of the national government outpaced its expenditures, according to the Treasury.
With the decline, the national government’s budget deficit last year narrowed to 7.3 percent of the country’s GDP from 8.6 percent in 2021, according to the Treasury.
Despite the decline, the country’s budget deficit last year exceeded the P1.502 trillion ceiling set by the Development Budget Coordination Committee.