Philippines: Budget balance back in deficit in May

THE government’s budget balance returned to a deficit in May even as revenues continued to outpace expenditures, the Bureau of the Treasury reported on Thursday.

The government had recorded a P4.9-billion surplus in April, which the Treasury then attributed to “faster year-on-year” revenue growth and a “marginal” increase in spending.

The swing to a P146.8-billion deficit in May was said to be the result of “double-digit revenue growth alongside the 1.10-percent contraction in government expenditures.”

The gap was still narrower than the P200.3-billion shortfall recorded a year earlier.

The government remained in deficit year to date with the gap at P458.7 billion, also down from the P566.2 billion posted in the comparable 2021 period.

Expenditures decreased from P456.7 billion to P451.7 billion in May, while revenues increased from P256.4 billion to P304.9 billion.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue brought in P216.6 billion, up 17.91 percent year on year, while the Bureau of Customs posted a 36.5-percent gain to P65.3 billion. Tax revenues from other offices saw a 30.70-percent surge to P2.7 billion.

Non-tax revenues fell by 12.24 percent to P19.4 billion, with Treasury income falling 28.22 percent to P8.9 billion — blamed on lower dividend remittances. Other offices recorded an 8.35-percent gain to P10.4 billion.

Year to date, government revenues were up 15.46 percent to P1.437 trillion while expenditures were 4.69 percent higher at P1.896 trillion.

The government wants to limit the budget gap to P1.65 trillion, or 7.6 percent of the gross domestic product this year. Last year’s P1.67-trillion shortfall put the ratio at 8.61 percent.