Gov't eyes budget gap of P266B in 2014-A A +A
Thursday, February 28, 2013
THE Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC), an inter-agency body that sets the government's macroeconomic targets, will keep the budget deficit target to 2 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014, budget chief said Thursday.
The target budget shortfall for next year is equivalent to P266.2 billion, Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad said.
"We remain committed to our fiscal consolidation strategy, which should help us reduce our debt stock and create more fiscal space for programs and projects that support inclusive economic growth. Likewise, we intend to further improve the pace, efficiency, and quality of public expenditures," he said.
Abad clarified that while the budget deficit program has increased nominally over the last three years, the Administration nonetheless expects the country’s debt burden to decrease by an average of 1.2 percentage points per year. This will bring the outstanding debt-to-GDP ratio down from 50.9 percent in 2011 to 46.2 percent in 2014.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is also eyeing a P2.29-trillion disbursement program for 2014, which amounts to 17.2 percent of GDP, Abad said. This represents a significant increase of 15.5 percent or P307.5 billion over the target set for 2013, which was pegged at P1.98 trillion.
"With our proposed 2014 disbursement target at 17.2 percent of GDP, we can refine our strategy for focused, performance-driven disbursements next year. Already, we plan to bolster spending for public infrastructure, as well as drive more investments toward the agri-fisheries, manufacturing, and transportation industries, among other promising sectors," Abad said.
"We're laying down the groundwork for sustainable and inclusive growth in the country, beginning with swift, high-impact disbursements. As remarkable as our gains in 2012 have been, much work still needs to be done so we can drive more job opportunities to our shores and attract more foreign investments and international trade," he said.
"With good governance underscoring our efforts, we're confident that our fiscal program will indeed translate to real, immediate, and sustainable benefits to all Filipinos," he added. (SDR/Sunnex)