By Rea Cu, May 16 2019; Business Mirror

Image Credit to Business Mirror

THE tax and revenue effort of the government improved for the first quarter of this year to 14.6 percent and 15.8 percent, respectively, due to the continuous implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, as well as tax administration initiatives, the Department of Finance (DOF) has reported.

An economic bulletin of the DOF said the revenue effort increased by 0.5 percentage points, reaching 16.3 percent from the 15.8 percent recorded in the same period for 2018.

Total revenues collected by the government for the first quarter of 2019 amounted to P687.7 billion, an increase of 11 percent compared to last year’s P619.8 billion.

“National government revenues rose by 11.0 percent in the first quarter of 2019, outstripping nominal GDP [gross domestic product] growth which registered 7.4 percent for the quarter,” the DOF said.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) contributed P468.2 billion for the first quarter 2019 revenues of the government, while the Bureau of Customs (BOC) accounted for P141.9 billion of the total.

Revenue from other offices contributed P5.8 billion to the total revenues for the three-month period. Total tax revenues for the period amounted to P615.8 billion, or 10.2 percent higher than the previous level recorded in the first quarter of 2018 at P558.7 billion.

This pushed up the country’s tax effort by 0.3 percentage points, settling at 14.6 percent for the first quarter of 2019 coming from the previous rate of 14.3 percent in 2018.

Nontax revenue

Meanwhile, nontax revenues amounted to P71.9 billion, resulting in an increase of 17.6 percent coming from the recorded P61.1 billion last year.

“Nontax revenues rose by 17.6 percent due to higher collections of dividend remittances on national government shares of stocks, guarantee fees, and share in the profits of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. or Pagcor,” it added.

Expenditure effort

The government’s expenditure effort, meanwhile, decelerated to 18.5 percent, or lower than the 19.7 percent recorded in the first quarter of 2018, due to the reenacted budget.

“The moderated growth in expenditures led to a lower national government deficit which settled at 2.1 percent of GDP,” the DOF said. Total expenditures for the period recorded a slight uptick of 0.8 percent amounting to P778 billion, coming from P772 billion in 2018.

“The delay in the passage by Congress of the 2019 budget weakened expenditures and the domestic economy. National government underspending was estimated at P69.5 billion using the difference between the full-year expenditure program of 9.8 percent and the actual first-quarter expenditure growth of 0.8 percent,” it added.