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Archive for October 1st, 2008

Budget deficit seen at P60B in 2009

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By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 17:24:00 10/01/2008

MANILA, Philippines – Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto sees the budget deficit rising to P60 billion next year instead of the projected P40 billion because of the financial crisis in the United States affecting the Philippine’s economic growth.

“The deficit will probably increase a little bit next year, but it will still be a very moderate increase, because the target for next year is roughly P40 billion. It is possible that if growth was readjusted to a lower rate, probably the deficit will reach P60 billion next year,” Recto said in a phone interview with reporters in Malacañang.

But Recto said a P60-billion deficit would still be below 1.0 percent of the Gross Domestic Product.

This year the government could incur a P40-billion deficit, compared to the expected P75 billion, he said.

With the bad weather, Recto said the government would not spend as much on infrastructure projects in the last quarter.

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Written by joelguinto

Wed+00:002008-10-01T11:08:41+00:00+00:0010b+00:00Wed, 01 Oct 2008 11:08:41 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am10

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NEDA’s Recto nixes tax on text

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By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 16:53:00 10/01/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto bucked proposals to tax short message service (SMS) or text messaging to boost revenues amid a global financial crisis.

Instead, Recto is pushing Congress to pass a bill rationalizing fiscal incentives and pass the budget on time so that government spending on infrastructure can prop up the economy.

Recto said telecommunication firms have been paying income taxes, and as their income increases, so do their tax payments.

“I’m not in favor of the tax on text, right now…The more income they [telecommunication firms] earn, the bigger the tax collection we get from them anyway,” Recto said in a phone interview with reporters in Malacañang.

“You want the tax policies of this country to be parallel to the growth of the economy, when the economy is growing you collect more, when the economy is not growing you collect less,” he added.

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Written by joelguinto

Wed+00:002008-10-01T11:06:35+00:00+00:0010b+00:00Wed, 01 Oct 2008 11:06:35 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am10

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Arroyo: RP not complacent on US crisis

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By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 12:57:00 10/01/2008

MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE) President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said her government has not been complacent in the face of a meltdown in the United States economy that has affected the rest of the world.

Arroyo said her administration was “working hard” to contain inflation, strengthen the banking system, sustain economic growth, and improve the country’s fiscal health.

“While the situation has been stable, we have not been complacent. We continue to monitor the global situation,” she said in a speech during the opening of the Masskara Festival in Bacolod City, which was aired on government-run radio station dzRB.

“These are hard times. The government is averting the effects of a global economic slowdown brought about by the volatile economic situation,” she added.

The President said maintaining the stability of the country’s food supply was a “major priority” in the face of the global crisis.

On Tuesday, Arroyo’s economic managers started a series of meetings aimed at assessing the impact of the non-passage of the $700-billion bailout for American banks before the US Congress.

Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya had said that if the rescue package would be rejected, the result could be worse than the one that hit Asia in 1997. But he added that with strong economic fundamentals, the country could survive.

US President George W. Bush had proposed the bailout, which would allow the government to buy bad loans by banks. It is the biggest rescue package since the Great Depression in the 1920s, according to wire reports.

The US House of Representatives rejected the bailout plan in a vote on Monday, sending world markets tumbling. Another round of voting could be held within the week.

On Tuesday, the Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) closed down 37.93 points or 1.45 percent to 2,569.65, while the peso weakened to P47.05 to the dollar, from P46.99 to the greenback on Monday.

Manila markets are closed on Wednesday, which was declared a national holiday to mark the Eid’l Fitr, the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan

View article as posted on INQUIRER.net.

Written by joelguinto

Wed+00:002008-10-01T11:03:16+00:00+00:0010b+00:00Wed, 01 Oct 2008 11:03:16 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am10

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