House briefed on proposed P3.76-trillion 2018 budget

August 1, 2017 - 11:25 AM
The House of Representatives in Quezon City. PHIL. STAR FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Government economic managers briefed the House of Representatives on the proposed P3.767-trillion 2018 national budget to seek support for appropriations Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno intended for the “efficient and effective” delivery of “inclusive and lasting” services.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor Espenilla said the economy “continues to demonstrate strength and resilien(cy)” … and foreign exchange reserves were “robust.”

National Economic and Development Authority Director General Ernesto Pernia echoed the upbeat tone, saying economic growth remains on the uptrend after the 6.9 percent gross domestic product growth in 2016.

However, Pernia acknowledged that the sources of growth remain concentrated in the National Capital Region, CaLaBaRZon and Central Luzon, which account for two-thirds of total GDP.

“That’s why the thrust of the development plan is regional development,” he said.

The proposed budget is anchored on the Duterte administration’s Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022.

Revenue efforts are expected to continue improving in 2018 to 16.6 percent of GDP from this year’s program of 15.3 percent.

The bulk or 94 percent of projected total revenues of P2.84 trillion will come from taxes, three-fourths to be accounted for by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

The administration is also pushing for the passage of a comprehensive tax reform package that will help shore up revenues through increased excise taxes on fuel and automobiles.