Philippines: Budget deficit ceiling stays: Dominguez

  • The government will stick to its budget deficit ceiling, which is set at 3% of the country’s GDP, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said 24 Oct 17.
  • Dominguez gave the assurance despite concerns that the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act may not yield sufficient revenue to help fund the government’s massive infrastructure program.
  • The finance chief said he is confident Congress would be able to come up with a final tax reform bill with an adequate revenue impact.
  • Under the original proposal of the DOF, the tax reform bill is projected to yield PHP157bn in additional revenue for the government in the first year of its implementation.
  • The House version of the bill has a net revenue impact of PHP133.8bn, while the Senate version has PHP59.9bn.
  • Earlier, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the TRAIN as well as the government’s expansionary fiscal policy is expected to provide PHP500bn in additional fiscal space for the country. “That’s additional spending power,” he said.

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