Philippine fiscal deficit in May hits nearly $70 mln

19:06, June 22, 2010      

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Philippine fiscal deficit in May hit 30.5 billion pesos (67.03 million U.S. dollars), 168.2 percent higher than last year, as the modest rise in revenues can't keep up with the double digit growth in expenditure.

The Philippine government plans to spend a record of 1.58 trillion pesos (34.7 billion U.S. dollars) this year to help the country with global recession.

The national government's January to May fiscal deficit hit 162. 1 billion pesos (3.6 billion U.S. dollars), up 31.6 percent on year, Finance Secretary Margarito Teves told reporters Thursday.

The five-month budget deficit is higher than the government's deficit target of 145.2 billion pesos (3.2 billion U.S. dollars) for the first half of the year.

Total revenues collected during this period hit 500 billion pesos (10.9 U.S. dollars), or 9.6 percent higher compared with the same period in 2009. Government expenditures rose by 14.3 percent to 662.1 billion pesos (14.5 billion U.S. dollars).

Teves reiterated his proposal to President-elect Benigno Aquino III to raise taxes to help plug the deficit.

"We believe that it is only through higher revenues, and not reduction in expenditures, that we can achieve higher and sustainable growth, and improve the quality of life our people," he said.

Source: Xinhua


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