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National government posted below-target P350.6-billion 2017 budget deficit.

The national government on Tuesday reported a budget deficit of P350.6 billion for 2017, which showed a 1-percent contraction from 2016's deficit of P353.4 billion, due to the combined effects of stronger-than-programmed receipts, according to the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr).

Based on BTr data, the 2017 budget deficit is 27-percent short from the programmed P482.1 billion for the year.

For December 2017 the BTr said the national government ran a P107.1-billion deficit on account of sustained spending. This, however, is 9 percent lower than the P118.2 billion recorded in December 2016.

Government disbursements for 2017 reached P2.823 trillion, expanding by 11 percent from the recorded expenditure of P2.549 trillion in 2016. The recorded expenditure for the year missed the programmed target by 3 percent, with the target for the year being P2.909 trillion.

For December 2017 expenditures amounted to P330.2 billion, up 16 percent from P283.6 billion in the same month in 2016.

Of the total, 89 percent were for primary expenditures, while the remaining 11 percent went to interest payments. Productive government spending amounted to P2.513.2 trillion, or 12 percent higher than 2016's P2.244 trillion.

Total interest payments (IP) for 2017 amounted to P310.5 billion, up by 2 percent from P304.5 billion in 2016.

'The higher IP for 2017 was due to coupon payments for Retail Treasury Bonds issued in September 2016 and April 2017, and fluctuations in foreign exchange rates,' the BTr said.

Meanwhile, the strong performance of government collection agencies helped bring in full-year revenue collections to P2.473 trillion, breaching the programmed P2.426 trillion by 2 percent. This posted a growth of 13 percent for the year compared to the P2.195 trillion in 2016.

Year-on-year, revenues for December 2017 reached its highest level for the year at 35 percent amounting to P223.1 billion, from P165.3 billion in 2016.

'You know last year was the first full year that we were doing it, so there was definitely a big improvement from the previous years. This year we'll even do better, this is cumulative, this will get better and better,' Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III told financial reporters on Tuesday at the sidelines of the launching of the Philippine

Tax Academy.

Broken down, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) collected a total of P1.772 trillion for the year, missing the programmed P1.782 trillion by 1 percent. This posted a growth of 13 percent compared to total collection of P1.567 trillion in 2016.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) recorded total collections of P458.2 billion for the year, narrowly missing the programmed P459.6 billion, but it was 16 percent better than 2016's collection of P396.4 billion.

For nontax revenues, BTr income registered a full-year total of P99.9 billion, contracting by 2 percent year-on-year from P101.7 billion in 2016. The amount, however, is 71 percent better than the programmed P58.6 billion for the year.

Collections from other offices expanded by 8 percent to P122.5 billion, from P113.8 billion in 2016. This is 11 percent better than the programmed P109.9 billion.

The BTr said the deficit-to-GDP ratio of 2.2 percent is well within the 3-percent ceiling set for the year, which contracted compared to the 2.4 percent recorded in 2016.

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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Feb 27, 2018
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