Jan-May deficit at P43-B, below ceiling

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines recorded a budget deficit of P13.2 billion in May, bringing the total for the first 5 months to P42.8 billion, below the government's program.

The January to May deficit was 31% below the P61.9 billion program for the period, while May's figure was 37% lower than the P20.9 billion program for the month, the Department of Finance said in a statement.

"The cash operations report so far shows that we continue to be well within our deficit ceilings despite the healthy pace of our expenditures program. Our strong collection performance provides plenty of room for further expansion of our priority programs," Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said.

Revenue collections reached P154.039 billion in May, 17% higher than collections in the same month of 2012. This brought the 5-month total to P708.374 billion, up 10% year-on-year.

The revenues financed expenditures amounting to P167.2 billion for May, up 11% from the previous year, but 6% below budget. Total disbursements for January to May grew 12.4% from 2012 to P751.213 billion.

Purisima said government collections would give the government space to further manage its liabilities "in these volatile economic conditions."

"We are closely monitoring market developments for opportunities to further strengthen our fiscal position," he said. - Rappler.com