Balancing the budget left to Arroyo’s successor

MANILA, Philippines – The task of balancing the budget will be left to the next administration as the Arroyo government, looking to spur the economy via increased spending, plans to bow out with a P132.1-billion deficit in 2010.

Officially the government is still maintaining a balanced budget target for next year but Finance Undersecretary Gil S. Beltran told legislators yesterday that the interagency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC), in revising this year’s macroeconomic targets, had also decided on a 2010 shortfall.

“For 2010 we have projected a deficit of 1.5 percent of GDP (gross domestic product),” Mr. Beltran said. “That is around P132.1 billion … This was agreed upon during the last meeting of the DBCC.”

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