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PIA Press Release

Gov’t eyes 57% cut in budget deficit in 2007

by Rey Anthony Chiu

Tagbilaran City (18 October) -- THE government is not resting until it can hit an ambitious 57% target cut in the country’s budget deficit for next near, Finance Secretary Margarito Teves said during a press conference last week.

When it was miraculous enough to stave off a P256B in 2002 to P148B in four years, the country’s economic consultants now train their sights to cut the deficit down to P63B next year. How?

Not by levying more taxes, not on borrowing but relying more on our resources, he said.

By this, he means raising revenues by putting in 100% effort to religiously collect taxes and settle problems with tax evaders, Teves told reporters during the press conference.

And with every peso that the government collects in taxes, as much as P.40 centavos go back to the local government units so they can finance priority projects, he said while hinting that the LGUs tend to benefit more from a more efficient tax collection generation.

The P.40 centavos for every peso should also signal a transformation of the economic landscape in the barangays and open up even more chances for job generation.

“This should set the mood to even the budget by 2008,” Teves told reporters gathered at the air-conditioned Sangguniang Bayan Session Hall in Maribojoc, Bohol. Sec. Teves was the guest of honor during Maribojoc’s 146th Foundation Anniversary October 15.

Teves, who traces his roots with the Bustaliño clan in Barangay Dipatlong also cited Bohol’s key role in implementing tourism and agricultural development related infrastructure projects to rear up eco-tourism as supportive of the national government plan.

Schooled in Spain, Europe’s prime eco-tourism country, Teves said tourism as set for Central Philippines super region is going to work wonders on the people here. This too, he said would equip people to earn, and in turn would translate to more revenues.

“Tourism has tremendous effects for job generation,” he said. (PIA) [top]

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