MANILA, Philippines - The national government posted a P80.9 billion ($1.85 billion) budget surplus in April, more than double the year-ago surplus of P36.8 billion.
This was attributed to improved collection by revenue generating agencies, particularly the Bureau of Customs.
The January to April budget deficit stood at P3.3 billion, an improvement from the P29.7 billion deficit in the previous year. The four-month budget deficit was also 1.2 percent of the 2014 goal.
"The month of April sustained the strong fiscal performance we experienced in the first quarter of the year... Revenues in the first quarter grew 9.4%, which is faster than the country’s Q1 GDP growth. We have also attained a tax revenue to GDP ratio of 12.4%, an increase from 12.0% in Q1 2013. We are striving to achieve our tax effort goal for the year to give us more fiscal headroom for productive spending," Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima said in a statement.
In April, total revenue collections grew 18 percent to P224.4 billion, bringing the January to April collections to P622.86 billion.
"We continue to reap the fruits of reforms at the Bureau of Customs – the Bureau posted its fourth straight month of double-digit growth by raking in P30.8 billion, a 13.4% year-on-year growth. Year-to-date, collections grew 22.2% to reach P117.3 billion," Purisima said.
On the other hand, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) posted P156.1 billion in revenue collections in April 4.8 percent higher than the same month last year. BIR revenues for January to April jumped 7 percent to P420.8 billion.
Meanwhile, April expenditures fell 6.3 percent to P143.6 billion.
Year-to-date disbursements were P626.1 billion, 7.2 percent up from the same period in 2013.
Interest payments for April stood at P13.4 billion, 43.4 percent lower than last year. This brought year-to-date interest payments to 18.6 percent of spending, an improvement from 20.9 percent a year ago.