Gov’t says unexpected revenue to reach P33.5BBy Michelle V. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The P33.5 billion in extra revenue that the government expects to generate will be used to further beef up spending for infrastructure projects, including those related to flood control, the Budget department said.
So far this year, state-owned firms have remitted to the government P14 billion more than the dividends expected to be turned over to the nation’s coffers, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said.
The government was not expecting the P14 billion in extra dividends, along with the P19.5 billion to be generated from the sale of the Food Terminals Inc. property, Abad said.
Revenue from the possible sale of the FTI property was not taken into account when officials drew up the budget for 2012.
“We can use the proceeds for flood control and other infrastructure projects,” Abad on Friday said in an interview.
The government has been trying to sell the FTI property for years. It only managed to do so early this month.
Ayala Land won the bid when it offered P24.33 billion for the FTI property—higher than the floor price of P10.25 billion set by the Finance department. Abad said that, of the total amount, P19.5 billion would be turned over to state coffers next month.
The government is trying to beef up infrastructure spending to be able to draw in more foreign direct investments. The Philippines has not been attracting FDIs as much as its regional neighbors. One of the key reasons often cited is the country’s poor infrastructure.
Also, Abad said public spending picked up in August, but it was not enough to upset the government’s full-year deficit target. He expects the budget gap to fall below the official ceiling of P297.1 billion.
The Department of Finance earlier reported that the government’s deficit amounted to P73.73 billion in the first seven months of the year, up by nearly 69 percent from last year’s P43.71 billion.
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