Fiscal targets achievable - Teves
By Rose B. Palacio
Davao City (20 September) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo remains focused on her targets as the Administration clears the runway for economic take-off.
Finance Secretary Gary Teves said the government is confident in achieving the fiscal targets towards the end of this year as it continues to seal revenue leakages, run after tax cheats and corrupt officials, and sustain the programs of stern fiscal discipline.
The Administration's winning formula is making headway and has been reaping investor confidence and upbeat economic indicators, which are flowing down to the grassroots in terms of jobs, infrastructure and solid social benefits, secretary Teves said.
The government, he said has come up with measures to ensure efficient tax collections. When there is resources, there will be local infrastructure projects as well as funds for other projects, he added.
Teves also recognized the support of the Countryside Financial Institutions in the countrysides adding that the CFIs be linked to international financing institutions to undertake projects especially in the countrysides.
He also reminded the government owned and controlled corporations to perform like the private sector and maximize profits. He said it should undertake projects but with least cost for the government.
The government should not engage in business where it doesn't have the competitive advantage. We do not need to go into business when we do not have the advantage, he further said.
The country, he said is on the right track of political stability and economic strength, and winning back the world through solid reforms will have a meaningful payback to the Filipino people.
The 6.4% inflation rate, strong peso at P50.73 to a dollar; 5.5% GDP growth in the second quarter of 2006; 14% increase in the remittances of OFWs; and the improving outlook of credit rating agencies and reputable international institutions such as the Development Bank of Singapore that forecasts a stronger peso to breach the P50:1$ rate will continue to take the country to the promised land of economic progress.
The surpluses incurred during the past months and the continuous strengthening of the peso lead the momentum of gains that are fueling investments, jobs and infrastructure, Secretary Teves said.
The country is now on the road to a debt-free status on top of a balanced budget by 2008 when the debt payment shall then be reduced by half, he added. (PIA-XI) [top]