By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – The Marcos administration’s “good” handling of the Philippine economy played an important part in dropping the national government’s fiscal gap in November 2022, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

This, after the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) reported Monday that the budget deficit in November 2022 went down by 3.71 percent to PHP123.9 billion from the PHP128.7-billion shortfall posted in November 2021.

“Good economic stewardship by the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. resulted in the country’s budget deficit dipping in November from last year’s figure as the government posted growth in revenue,” Undersecretary Cheloy Garafil, officer-in-charge of the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS), said in a statement.

The fiscal deficit seen in the 11-month period this year declined by 7.23 percent to PHP1.2 trillion from the PHP1.33-trillion gap in the same period last year.

This was 75 percent of the revised PHP1.7 trillion full-year deficit program.

This led to an increase in revenue collections, which climbed to PHP331 billion, up by 16.57 percent from the year-ago level of PHP284 billion.

“This brought the year-to-date collection to PHP3.3 trillion, 18.13 percent, or PHP503.1 billion above last year’s figure and representing 99 percent of the PHP3.3 trillion goal for the year,” the BTr said.

“Taxes contributed PHP3.0 trillion, or 90 percent to the total revenue, and registered 17.48 percent YoY (year-on-year) growth for said period,” it added.

Meanwhile, non-tax revenues rose to PHP317.7 billion, higher by 24.59 percent from the previous year’s level.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) collected PHP237.1 billion for November, representing a hike of 12.53 percent or PHP26.4 billion year-on-year.

The BIR reported that the total collections in the 11-month period reached PHP2.2 trillion, which is 12.56 percent higher from PHP240.6 billion posted over the same period in 2022 and accounts for 90 percent of the PHP2.4-trillion fiscal year 2022 program.

The Bureau of Customs also saw a surge in its collections which amounted to PHP75.7 billion.

The BOC’s resulting year-to-date uptake also rose to PHP789.2 billion, higher by 35.31 percent from PHP206 billion reported a year ago and surpassing the PHP721.5-billion target for the fiscal year 2022 by 9.39 percent or PHP67.7 billion.

Garafil noted that the 13.25-percent or PHP806-million drop in BTr’s income for November to PHP5.3 billion was “due to the high base for dividend collections.”

“Nevertheless, BTr’s [year-to-date] income of PHP148.2 billion surpassed the revenue collected in the same period last year by 22.90 percent, or PHP27.6 billion. This more than doubled the PHP61.2 billion original 2022 full-year program,” she said.

“Revenues from other offices (other non-tax including privatization proceeds, fees and charges) for November climbed to PHP12.9 billion, improving by 61.04 percent (PHP4.9 billion) over the previous year’s outcome,” she added.

Garafil said the national government spending for November reached PHP455.0 billion, 10.24 percent or PHP42.3 billion faster compared to 2021.

The latest spending figure was attributed to “the larger National Tax Allotment of local government units, disbursements from capital outlay projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways, payouts for the social protection programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and releases for the year-end bonus and cash gift of government employees,” she said.

“The year-to-date disbursement of PHP4.5 trillion reached 91 percent of the PHP5.0 trillion full-year program and likewise outperformed the previous year’s 11-month total of PHP4.1 trillion by PHP406.8 billion (9.91 percent),” she said.

The government, Garafil said, also posted a 12.43-percent growth in year-on-year primary spending for November, reaching PHP428.9 billion and bringing the cumulative primary expenditure to PHP4.1 trillion, an increase by 9.44 percent or PHP349.6 billion year-on-year.

Garafil, citing the data from BTr, said November interest payments totaled PHP26.1 billion, dipping by 16.43 percent or PHP5.1 billion from last year’s level.

“The resulting [interest payments] as of end-November increased to PHP459.3 billion, 14.21 percent (PHP57.1 billion) higher year-on-year,” the BTr said. (PNA)