Philippines sets 2000 budget at 639 bil. pesos
MANILA, Dec. 21 Kyodo Philippine lawmakers agreed Tuesday to peg the national budget at 639 billion pesos (15.98 billion dollars).
The amount is 12 billion pesos less than the government proposal.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman John Osmena said the bicameral committee working on the budget decided to slash the figure President Joseph Estrada’s government is pushing after the committee noted the weak revenue performance in 1999.
Osmena said it did not help that the 651 billion peso budget the president was pushing for is based largely on projections the Bureau of Internal Revenue would see a 20% increase in tax collections next year.
He said lawmakers were unimpressed by the bureau’s performance this year and doubted it would do better next year.
The committee believes prudent fiscal management is needed to ensure the country does not exceed the 62.5 billion peso deficit ceiling the International Monetary Fund (IMF) set for 2000, Osmena added.
He noted the government already exceeded by 25 billion pesos the 85 billion peso deficit the IMF set for 1999, saying this has considerably hurt the country’s credit.
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