RP BUDGET DEFICIT WITHIN CEILING FOR APRIL - DEPT OF FINANCE

MANILA, May 19, 2003 (STAR, AFP) - The Philippines budget deficit for April stood at 6.58 billion pesos (US$126 million), well within the target of 12 billion pesos to put the country on track to meet its full-year estimated deficit of 202 billion pesos, the finance department said.

The department said in a statement that the April outcome reflected 18.6 percent growth in total revenues to 65.9 billion pesos, with both internal and customs departments exceeding their targets for the month.

For the January-April period, the budget defict was down 21.1 percent year-on-year to 65.5 billion pesos.

"The deficit in April is the lowest we've seen in many months. We are encouraged by it," Finance Secretary Jose Isidro Camacho said in the statement.

"Such performance likewise emboldens us to pursue drastic reform measures we have been taking to instill fiscal discipline on all fronts," he added.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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