Philippines - Public finance

The principal sources of revenue are income taxes, taxes on sales and business operations, and excise duties. Infrastructural improvements, defense expenditures, and debt service continue to lead among the categories of outlays.

The government's commitment to fiscal balance resulted in a budget surplus for the first time in two decades in 1994. The surplus was achieved by higher taxes, privatization receipts, and expenditure cuts. The Philippines was not affected as severely by the Asian financial crisis of 1998 as many of its overseas neighbors, as a result of over $7 billion in remittances annually by workers overseas.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimates that in 2001 the Philippines's central government took in revenues of approximately $10.9 billion and had expenditures of $13.8 billion. Overall, the government registered a deficit of approximately $2.9 billion. External debt totaled $50 billion.

The following table shows an itemized breakdown of government revenues and expenditures. The percentages were calculated from data reported by the International Monetary Fund. The dollar amounts (millions) are based on the CIA estimates provided above.


REVENUE AND GRANTS 100.0% 10,900
Tax revenue 86.9% 9,472
Non-tax revenue 12.5% 1,367
Capital revenue 0.2% 23
Grants 0.4% 38
EXPENDITURES 100.0% 13,800
General public services 4.7% 652
Defense 4.6% 640
Public order and safety 6.8% 932
Education 17.2% 2,371
Health 1.9% 267
Social security 3.9% 541
Housing and community amenities 0.4% 52
Recreation, cultural, and religious affairs 0.7% 98
Economic affairs and services 12.9% 1,774
Other expenditures 22.2% 3,058
Interest payments 24.8% 3,416

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