DOF to sustain higher revenue collection, less debt in 2015
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Finance (DOF) aims to further shore up revenue collection while continually reducing the share of the government debt to the economy in 2015 to sustain the inroads made this year.
“The DOF achieved a great deal in 2014. With Secretary [Cesar V.] Purisima at the helm, the country’s macrofundamentals are in their best shape ever. Inflation is on its way down. Interest rates net of inflation remain one of the lowest in Asia despite QE [quantitative easing] tapering in the US. The exchange rate is stable on account of strong BOP [balance of payments] inflows, and the fiscal position is at its strongest,” Finance Undersecretary Gil S. Beltran said in a speech before DOF employees last Monday.
“In 2015, we should work harder to push the revenue effort further up by at least one-half percentage point of GDP [gross domestic product], reduce the NG [national government] debt ratio by at least a percentage point, and further expand fiscal space for infrastructure and social services,” Beltran said.
According to Beltran, the gains made so far are sustainable. He said the national government revenue effort went up by one-half percentage point as of the end of October, while the public sector debt ratio hit its lowest in three decades—66.3 percent for the consolidated public sector, 52 percent for the non-financial public sector, and 38.1 percent for the consolidated general public sector.
At the end of September, the tax-to-GDP ratio improved to 14.08 percent or closer to the target of 16.6 percent.
Latest DOF data also showed that the revenue collection jumped 12.6 percent as of the end of October. This year, the government targets to collect P1.88 trillion in taxes on top of P138.1 billion in non-tax revenues.
As for the national debt-to-GDP ratio, the DOF earlier reported that the country’s debt burden stood at 37.3 percent at the end of the first half, six percentage points better than the 44.3 percent posted in 2010, or the year President Aquino assumed office.
Besides improvements in the fiscal space, the DOF would work for better access to financing among more Filipinos in 2015, especially those in disaster-prone areas, Beltran said. “We will expand the clientele of our microfinance products further, introduce new micro-insurance products, and reduce risks of disasters.”
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