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Benefits of reform initiatives and economic reopening Public finances

According to an economist, the government’s budget imbalance will narrow in 2022 and the adoption of additional financial reform measures can increase government revenues.

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The government’s budget deficit decreased by 2.2 percent last year, from PHP1.65 trillion in 2021 to PHP1.61 trillion, according to data released by the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) on Wednesday.

This is true even though the figure for December 2022 increased by 11.94 percent year over year to PHP378.4 billion.

Michael Ricafort, the chief economist at Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), attributed the reduction in the full-year budget deficit in part to the domestic economy’s ongoing reopening, which allowed for a greater number of economic activity.

Ricafort also mentioned the administration’s economic restraint and the adoption of several fiscal reform measures.

He said that the government’s decision to stop enforcing lockdowns in the event of a spike in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections had also reduced public spending because the limitations on movement necessitated the government spending money to help individuals with their finances.

Faster economic growth would fundamentally increase tax and other government revenue collections, according to Ricafort, and it would also assist lower the nation’s debt-to-GDP (gross domestic product) ratio.

According to him, the country’s economic and fiscal reform initiatives must be maintained by the next administration, and increased tax collections can significantly enhance the government’s recurrent tax revenue collections.

He continued, “There are also strong governance, anti-corruption, and anti-waste initiatives to further enhance government spending, all of which assist better control the country’s budget deficit, fiscal performance, and total debt management.”

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