Palace welcomes ‘high’ budget surplus

MANILA—Malacañang on Monday attributed the continuous budget surplus of the government on prudent spending and aggressive tax collection.

The national government recorded a surplus of P26.258 billion for the month of April, which brings its fiscal position for the first four months of the year to a surplus of P61 million, according to the Department of Finance.

This was a result of an 18.22 percent increase in revenue collections for the first four months to P461.4 billion, while government expenditures for the same period decreased by 11.6 percent to P461.35 billion.

The reduction in expenditures was in large part due to a 17.98 percent reduction in interest payments, as reported earlier by the Department of Finance.

The P22.4 billion reduction in interest payments is attributable to the DOF’s Liability Management Program, which managed to stretch maturities on loans to as long as 25 years.

u201cIt is worthy to note that the P22.4 billion in savings from interest payments is enough to fund the entire CCT (conditional cash transfer) program for the year, which was given an allocation of P21 billion in the 2011 budget,” said Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.

He added that the primary surplus of P61 million, as opposed to a deficit of P131.8 billion posted in April 2010 “is a clear sign that we are being very careful in managing the people’s money.” (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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