Gov't targets balanced national budget by 2008
By Renee F. De Guzman
San Fernando City, La Union (5 September) -- The 2008 proposed national budget of P1.227 trillion reflects government's optimism on the country's economic growth as it ushers in an era of balanced budgets and even budget surpluses.
After years of debt dependency, the government is finally operationalizing a self-supporting budget. Government will be living within its means and there will be no turning back.
The government's proposed national outlay is based on a real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 6.1 to 6.8 percent, inflation rate of between three to four percent and a foreign exchange forecast of 46 to 48 pesos to a dollar.
As government puts an end to a decade of budget deficits, it also expects foreign and domestic borrowings falling by 9 percent next year.
The government is committed to tap its potentials to be able to tame the deficit and trimmed the debt by the end of the year. It expects a lower year-end budget deficit of P50.1 billion than its targeted P63-billion to have a balanced budget by 2008.
The proposed appropriation is based on revenues of P1.236 trillion, P1.108 billion in tax revenues and P127 trillion in non-tax revenues.
"It will be an outlay that will be totally supported by internal revenues. By proposing a budget which would not be propelled up by a single borrowed peso, we are taking a bold step towards an era of balanced budgets" Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya, Sr. said.
Government is optimistic that, in view of the reforms undertaken by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs, both revenue collecting agencies will recover their collection shortfalls and collect P765.9 billion and P228.2 billion respectively.
Further, Government expects a boost in the revenues from interest savings and proceeds from the privatization of government assets including an interest savings of P40 billion due to reduced interest payments on government loans which was the result of the peso's appreciation against the dollar and lower local interests. (PIA La Union) [top]