‘Plan B’ to address budget gap needed

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President Gloria Arroyo’s successor needs a “Plan B” to address the country’s growing budget gap that a pledged crackdown on corruption might not be able to solve, Finance Secretary Margarito Teves said on Tuesday.

As Congress began an official count of the May 10 elections that would confirm Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd as winner, Teves sketched a scenario that he said could push Manila’s finances to the brink and hinted tax rises might be necessary.

“We don’t want to go by way of Greece, Portugal and Italy. So they should look at the situation hard if [revenues] do not improve purely through tax administration efficiency and curbing smuggling,” he told reporters.

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