The Philippines posted a budget deficit of P68.1 billion ($1.42 billion) in 2008, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto said in a presentation to investors on Wednesday.
The figure is lower than the government's target of a P75-billion deficit for 2008. It also meant the government had a fiscal shortfall of P1.4 billion in December alone, based on Reuters calculations.
For the full year 2008, revenue collections reached P1.2 billion or P22.3 billion lower than what was programmed.
Taxes accumulated by the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the government's main revenue-generating agency, registered a growth of 7 percent year-on-year. The Bureau of Customs also posted a growth of 24 percent.
Government expenditures totaled P1.27 billion last year, P29.1 billion below the target spending.
This year, the Philippines is aiming for a P177.2 billion budget deficit, or 2.2 percent of the country's domestic economic output.
This new figure is higher than government's earlier revised target of P102 billion or 1.2 percent of the GDP.
Finance Secretary Margarito Teves said they are expecting lower revenues from government tax agencies as well as increased spending for infrastructure and social services in 2009. With Reuters