2012 budget deficit at P242.8-B, below ceiling
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - The Philippines' budget deficit stood at P242.8 billion in 2012, well below the ceiling the government set for the year.
The deficit was 13% below the P279.1 billion programmed by government, but 23% higher than the P197.75-billion deficit recorded in 2011. It was equivalent to 2.3% of gross domestic product (GDP).
“2012 results show the continued progress in our drive to reform public finances. We are committed to making fiscal sustainability the new standard that Filipinos can expect of their government,” Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said.
The lower-than-targeted deficit came as government revenues grew double digits, and public spending fell short of goal.
Revenues jumped 12.9% to P1.535 trillion in 2012, from P1.36 trillion in 2011, while spending went up 14.1% to P1.78 trillion, 3% shy of government's P1.84 trillion goal.
Better revenues in 2013
Government revenues however were also lower than the government's P1.56-trillion target as the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Bureau of Customs (BOC) missed their programmed collections.
BIR collections rose 14.5% from 2011 to P1.05 trillion or 99.23% of its P1.066-trillion target.
BOC collections grew 9.3% to P289.9 billion, versus the agency's P347-billion target.
"To further expand revenue collection in 2013, we are working closely with the BIR to improve collection performance especially from estate or inheritance tax and income taxes from the self-employed and professionals sector, and with the BOC to improve compliance in the declaration of import values," said Purisima.
"We are also undertaking several efforts to improve information sharing between BIR and BOC as well as among other national government agencies to further strengthen our ability to evaluate the correctness of the tax payments of different entities," he added.
The finance chief also said higher taxes on "sin" products tobacco and alcohol would boost collections.
"We will also work on reforming the fiscal incentives regime and the fiscal regime on mining this 2013," he said. - Rappler.com