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DBCC raises 2019 deficit ceiling

The inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) has raised the deficit ceiling in 2019 to maintain aggressive spending on infrastructure development.

In a press conference in Manila City, the Duterte administration’s economic managers said the deficit ceiling was raised to 3.2 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) from 3.0 percent.

Deficit spending is the difference between government revenue and amount of money it spends during a given period.

“We certainly want to accelerate the Build, Build, Build program and also we are accelerating the investment in education and investment in social services including health,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia told reporters.

“This is why we are going to propose to the President an increase of 0.2 percentage point from the 3.0-percent deficit that we had projected,” Pernia said.

A wider deficit assures the government of meeting the targets under the infrastructure spending program.

“We have slightly adjusted the deficit forecast in order to maintain the aggressive spending strategy that will sustain the momentum of the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said.

“We assure our people that the government remains committed to fiscal discipline even as it pursues a high level of productive spending that will clear the way to high and inclusive growth,” he said.

The government plans to spend more than P8 trillion until 2022 on infrastructure development, largely funded by tax revenue. —VDS, GMA News