2008 proposed budget to fuel RP's First World-status target
Manila (14 June) -- The Arroyo government's proposed P1.227 trillion budget, which is eight percent or P90.8 billion higher than this year's P1.11 trillion outlay, was formulated with projected government revenues exceeding its expenses. The result is a balanced budget that shall help set the nation's First World status target.
The present leadership has already completed the first phase of its economic turnaround plan through a robust economy, and is now into second phase which will take advantage of the improved economy to finally make the long overdue investments in infrastructure, education and social welfare services and poised to break the back of poverty.
As proposed, the 2008 budget is set to increase spending in all areas except for repayments of debts due to strong revenue collection. The proposal has education getting the highest appropriation and includes investments in infrastructure amounting to P156.6 billion, the 10% across-the-board salary increase for nearly 840,000 civilian government employees as well as the government's share in the adjustment of yearend benefits, health insurance and pension contributions, increase in the subsistence allowance of some 282,000 uniformed personnel and the creation of teaching and policemen positions.
Local government units will get a bigger Internal Revenue Allotment, their share from national taxes collected due to improvement in revenue collection triggered by the VAT.
The 2008 budget proposal is based on the assumption that government revenue collection will be P1.236 trillion, gross domestic product growth will be 5.8 - 6.6%, inflation will be within a 3- 4 per cent and the 91-day T-bill rate is expected to be around 4-5%. (PIA-MMIO) [top]