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DOF expects P3.2 trillion in government revenues in 2019.

The Department of Finance (DOF) expects the government to raise P3.2 trillion in revenues in 2019, with P181.4 billion to come from the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law and the proposed tax reform package 1B.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said during a hearing of the House Committee on Appropriations on Tuesday, that the revenue goal for 2019 is equivalent to 16.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), which is an improvement from the 15.6 percent attained in 2017 and this year's target of 16.2 percent.

The inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) was in attendance during the hearing at the House of Representatives for the proposed 2019 cash-based budget of P3.757 trillion. The 2019 national budget was submitted to Congress for interpolation last July 23.

The projected amount of P181.4 billion will be coming from the TRAIN, as well as from the proposed tax amnesty program and adjustments in the Motor Vehicle Users Charge (MVUC) under Package 1B of the Duterte administration's comprehensive tax reform program (CTRP).

'The TRAIN Law, which you kindly passed, and which was implemented at the start of 2018, contributed P33.7 billion in revenues for the first half of the year - surpassing our target by P3.6 billion,' Domiguez said.

The finance chief said the government expects tax revenues to grow by 12.7 percent in 2019 as the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Bureau of Customs (BOC) are expected to post collection growths of 13.1 percent and 11.3 percent, respectively.

According to the DOF, from January to June 2018, total revenue collection reached P1.41 trillion, which is 20 percent higher than the same period last year of P1.17 trillion, and exceeded the target by 8 percent or P105.7 billion.

'Rest assured that our main revenue agencies are committed to maintain the momentum,' he said.

He further pointed out that the DOF will continue to push for the passage of the remaining packages under the CTRP, to generate additional revenue streams that will enable the government to sustain its massive infrastructure buildup and increased spending on human capital development.

Dominguez assured lawmakers that the Philippines' fiscal position remains strong, with revenues expected to be above target, the debt burden continuing its downtrend, and the government's spending program sustainable over the medium term.

'This administration is committed to long-term fiscal sustainability. Be assured we will continue to exercise fiscal responsibility and maintain sound fiscal policies to support higher and more inclusive growth. Fiscal strategy remains to be prudent, sustainable, and supportive of the government's development objectives,' he added.

In 2017, the total consolidated public sector financial position (CPSFP) registered a deficit of P3.3 billion or 0.02 percent of GDP. The CPSFP estimated for 2018 shows a deficit of 0.9 percent of GDP. For 2019, the government expects a higher CPSFP equivalent to 1.1 percent of GDP.

The finance chief explained that with tax reforms and continuing improvements in tax administration, the government expects to improve the ratio of revenues to GDP from 15.6 percent in 2017 to 17.6 percent by 2022.

He also pointed out that the ratio of tax revenues to GDP is projected to increase from 14.2 percent in 2017 to 16.9 percent by 2022, which would bring the tax effort to about the regional average.

The government expects expenditures to reach 20.7 percent by 2022, with the transition to a cash-based budgeting program enhancing the efficiency of national governments' disbursements and eradicating underspending.

The fiscal deficit would be adjusted slightly upward to 3.2 percent in 2019, which will revert to 3.0 percent until 2022, according to the finance chief.

The government also expects the debt-to-GDP ratio 'to continue its downward trajectory path in the medium-term from 42.1 percent in 2017 to 38.6 percent in 2022.'

'Our proactive liability management agenda has decreased the burden of debt on our budget, creating more fiscal space to fund social commitments,' he said.
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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Jul 31, 2018
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