REVENUE  PRIORITIES  DON'T  STOP  AT  TAX  MEASURES,  SAYS  GMA

MALACANANG, March 14, 2005
(STAR) President Gloria Arroyo Monday noted that her administration is not just looking at tax measures to raise revenues.

In a keynote speech in Malacanang, Pres. Arroyo stressed that the privatization of the generation assets of the National Power Corp. (Napocor) will not only help reduce the consolidated public sector deficit and the public sector debt, but will also help raise funds for other projects.

"Our revenue generation priorities donít stop at tax measures," she said.

She added that other key reforms would be undertaken by her administration to meet the goal she set under her 10-point program aimed at reducing poverty incidence in the country.

The national government has projected this yearís consolidated public sector deficit would be reduced to 203.865 billion pesos from 263.217 billion pesos in 2004, as a result of the privatization program as well as the additional revenues to be raised from new tax measures.

"The privatization of Napocor through the sale of its generation assets-- will not only reduce a drain on public sector revenues, but will also produce revenues that can be used to invest in the infrastructure that will grow the economy and increase jobs," the President said.

She noted, "the first eight months of my term constitute the first phase of the six-year 10-point program."

The first phase focuses on balancing the budget before 2010, which involves fiscal reforms aimed at passing revenue measures, plugging corruption leakages and rationalizing the power sector.

She said the privatization of Napocor is only one of the strategies her administration is implementing to make energy affordable and sustainable and to promote investments in the power sector.

"The objective of our power sector reforms is to reduce the cost of electricity and to make it competitive with the rest of Southeast Asian region," she declared.

She assured that her administration is "committed to continuing to push through the reforms. As we grow our energy sector, so too will we grow our commitment to clean energy production and a clean environment."

"The health and safety of our citizens is as important as stable, affordable and sustainable energy production," she said.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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