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Gov't may fall short of deficit target.

MANILA, Philippines The government may possibly fall behind its P482.1 billion deficit target for 2017, according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). In an interview, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said there is a possibility the government may not meet its full year deficit target, which is equivalent to three percent of gross domestic product, as the current 10-month level appears to be moderate.

"(The government) may or may not fall behind its deficit target in 2017. Year-to-date deficit is about 50 percent of the target deficit," Diokno said. According to Diokno, the slow progress in the country's budget gap could either be due to slower-than-expected spending, or higher-than-programmed revenue, or both.

The Duterte administration has adopted an expansionary fiscal policyraising its budget deficit ceiling to three percent of gross domestic product from two percentto give leeway to its massive infrastructure program. In the first 10 months of the year, fiscal deficit has widened by nine percent to P234.9 billion from P216 billion in the same period last year.

Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 Revenue rose 10 percent to P2.01 trillion as of end-October from P1.82 trillion in the same period last year. This corresponds to 82.72 percent of the governments target revenue collection of P2.43 trillion.

Meanwhile, disbursements reached P2.24 trillion, up 10 percent from P2.04 trillion in the same period in 2016. This was equivalent to 77 percent of the 2017 disbursement program of P2.91 trillion.

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Publication:Philippines Star (Manila, Philippines)
Date:Nov 24, 2017
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