Official cites gains from fiscal reforms
MANILA – Fiscal reform programs should be sustained to allow the government to “strongly face” the global pandemic, an economic bulletin of the Department of Finance (DOF) said.
Penned by Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran, the economic bulletin, issued Wednesday, said fiscal reforms implemented by the current administration “boosted the revenue effort to the highest first quarter finish in history.”
DOF data show that revenue effort improved by 1.78 percent year-on-year as of end-March this year to 17.33 percent from 15.55 percent during the same period last year.
Beltran said prudent debt management has also enabled the government to mobilize substantial resources from borrowings to finance programs to combat the coronavirus crisis.
“These reforms have made the country one of the six strongest emerging economies to meet the challenges of the pandemic,” he said.
With these developments, Beltran said the country should continue adopting fiscal reforms, particularly tax reforms still pending in Congress to sustain such fiscal gains.
In the first quarter this year, total revenues grew by 12.7 percent year-onyear to PHP775 billion from year-ago’s PHP687.7 billion.
Expenditures also posted an annual increase of 9.2
percent to PHP849.2 billion from PHP778 billion.
The proportion of debt to total output stood at 41.8 percent in the first quarter this year, lower than the 42 percent in the same period last year. (PNA