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Philippine President says deficit will not hit 300 bln pesos

Updated:2009-11-20 10:02:38

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said Thursday that she's optimistic the country's fiscal deficit will not breach the critical 300 billion pesos (6.4billion U.S. dollar) level.

This, despite Philippine Finance Secretary Margarito Teves's report Wednesday that the fiscal deficit by October this year had reached 266.1 billion pesos (5.7 billion U.S. dollars) -- is over 16 billion pesos (342.6 million U.S. dollars) more than the programmed 250 billion pesos (5.3 billion U.S. dollars) for this year.

As slack revenues can barely meet rising expenditures, Teves forecast the deficit to widen to 280 billion-300 billion pesos (6 billion-6.4 billion U.S. dollars) by the end of this year.

But Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Gary Olivar said in a statement Thursday that while the government is "naturally concerned" about the wide deficit, they're still optimistic that the deficit won't hit 300 billion pesos.

Olivar said the government is seeking ways to boost revenues. These include urging the Congress pass new revenue-raising measures, improving tax administration, privatizing more government assets, and spending government budget funds with care.

Philippine Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita told reporters in an interview that President Arroyo had ordered economic managers, led by Teves, to keep a close watch over revenue collections.

"You can be sure that this has not slipped the attention of the President," he said.

 

 

Source:http://news.xinhuanet.com

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