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Budget Surplus

WASHINGTON D.C. (via PLDT) – President Aquino announced yesterday that the government posted a P9.22-billion budget surplus in August due to higher tax revenues.

The Chief Executive made the surprise announcement about the government’s fiscal position last month during his meeting with the Filipino communities from Washington, Maryland and Virginia.

Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima, meanwhile, said the surplus in August was mainly due to the Bureau of Customs’ 25 percent growth in revenue.

Customs, the government’s second largest revenue agency, collected P22.152 billion in August, higher compared with P17.762 billion in the same month last year.

“This year’s budget deficit will be below the P300 billion ceiling,” Purisima said.

Last month’s surplus was a turnaround compared with the P26.5-billion budget deficit incurred in the same month last year.

Government revenue increased 15.16 percent last month while spending gained 7.93 percent in August.

Aquino met with businessmen here to seek investments as he strives to bolster economic growth to as much as eight percent annually.

In January to August, the government posted a P34.403-billion budget deficit, lower by 85 percent compared with P218.104 billion in the same period last year.

Total revenues at end-August amounted to P912.751 billion, increased by P13.69 billion from P802.818 billion.

Expendtures in the in the first eight months of the year increased by P8.12 percent to P1.03 trillion from P947.244 billion in the same period last year.

Aquino won two credit rating upgrades in June as he chases tax evaders and corrupt officials to narrow the budget gap from a record P314.5 billion pesos last year.

Fitch Ratings raised the country’s debt to one step below investment grade last June 23 while Moody’s Investors Service upgraded the Philippines’ $200-billion economy to two levels below investment grade on June 15.