MANILA, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine government reported an eight-month deficit totaling 71.21 billion pesos (1.71 billion U.S. dollars), roughly a fourth of the anticipated 279 billion pesos (6.68 billion U.S. dollars) for the whole year, the Finance Department said Wednesday.
Revenues for January to August rose 11 percent on year to a record-high of 1.013 trillion pesos (24.27 billion U.S. dollars). Disbursements during the same period amounted to 1.084 trillion pesos (25.97 billion U.S. dollars), up 14.5 percent on year.
"From January to August both sides of the national ledger have registered robust performances. The Philippines continues to be in a fiscal sweet spot, generating wide fiscal space to stimulate the economy and to spend on key development projects," Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima said.
He added that the January-August budget gap is still below the programmed 183.34 billion pesos (4.39 billion U.S. dollars) budget gap for the third quarter.
Purisima said the Finance Department is interested in seeing the passage of other revenue-generating legislative measures like the sin tax.
"The reform on excise taxes in tobacco and alcohol is one step closer to being enacted into law with the culmination of the Senate committee hearings. We expect the committee report to be finalized and sponsored for plenary debates and approval when session resumes in October," Purisima said.