National Government incurs P68.1-billion deficit in 2008
By Iris C. Gonzales Updated February 26, 2009 12:00 AM
MANILA, Philippines – The National Government (NG) incurred a budget deficit of P68.1 billion in 2008, well below the target of P75 billion, Finance Secretary Margarito Teves said yesterday.
At the Philippine economic briefing yesterday, Teves said the 2008 deficit represents 0.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) or the country’s total economic output.
“This was an over-performance of P6.9 billion compared with our programmed deficit of P75 billion or one percent of GDP for the year,” he said.
Revenue collections reached P1.202 trillion or P22.3 billion below the program for the year while expenditures reached P1.271 trillion or P29.1 billion below the program.
Of the P1.202 trillion in revenues, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) collected P778.6 billion or P31.4 billion below the revised collection goal of P810 billion while the Bureau of Customs (BOC) generated P260.2 billion for the year or P13.8 below its revised revenue target of P274.1 billion.
The Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) collected P63.7 billion while revenues from other offices amounted to P100.4 billion.
In December alone, the National Government incurred a deficit of P1.4 billion as revenues reached P121.3 billion while expenditures reached P122.8 billion. The December budget gap was narrower than the P4.3 billion deficit posted in November 2008.
During the month, the BIR collected P57 billion while the BOC collected P18.8 billion. The BTr generated P6.3 billion in December while revenues from other offices amounted to P39.2 billion during the period.
Teves expressed hopes that the two government agencies would be able to raise enough revenues for the year to be able to cope with the global financial crisis.
He is asking Congress to support pending legislative measures that would enhance tax revenues.
These include the measure to rationalize tax incentives and the so-called simplified net income tax scheme (SNITS) measure. Another measure is the proposal seeking to raise cigarettes on alcohol and cigarettes.
“The unprecedented challenges confronting us this year require extraordinary strength. We have to be tough to overcome these serious threats to fiscal and economic stability,” Teves said.
View previous articles from this author.