MANILA, March 5 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine budget deficit in 2012 reached 242.8 billion pesos (5.96 billion U.S. dollars), equivalent to 2.3 percent of the country's gross domestic product and below the government's ceiling of 279.1 billion pesos.
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said Tuesday that this reflects the government's drive to reform public finances.
"We are committed to making fiscal sustainability," Purisima said in a briefing.
He said higher revenue collection in 2012 created the fiscal space for key expenditure items, such as providing additional capitalization for the central bank.
Government expenditures hit 1.78 trillion pesos. But Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said last year's public spending still showed notable improvement from the 9 percent disbursement shortfall in 2011.
Government revenues amounted to 1.54 trillion pesos for the year, or 25.69 billion pesos lower than the target of 1.56 trillion pesos.