Lacson: Why did Philippine debt balloon to P9.054 trillion in June?

Published August 27, 2020, 9:12 AM

by Mario Casayuran

Senator Panfilo M. Lacson today said he would ask the Executive branch why Philippine debt breached the P9.054 trillion-mark in June from P7.9 trillion in December.

Senator Panfilo M. Lacson (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Lacson plans to raise the question before the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) when the Senate reviews the proposed National Expenditure Program (NEP) just as Malacanang submitted a proposed 2021 P4.5 trillion national budget to Congress.

He said one of the contentious issues he would raise is that revenue collection went down by 8.8 percent, thus widening the budget deficit.

Lacson asked aloud why the proposed 2021 P4.5 trillion national budget should top the current 2020 P4.1 trillion national budget when the government is not collecting much revenues because of the slowed down business activity.

‘’Di ba mas prudent isipin mag-adjust muna tayo. At kung di ma-implement ang infra projects dahil sa pandemic, bakit tayo mag-budget ng napakalaki?’’ he asked. (The prudent thing to do is to adjust. Why should the budget be that large when the multi-billion-peso infrastructure projects are not being implemented because of the pandemic.)

‘’So magkano ang na-accumulate nating utang na nadagdag at papaano natin nagamit? Iba ang projected borrowings, iba ang actual borrowings. Kasi kinwestyon ko na rin ito last year, bakit ang projected deficit natin ganito kalaki lang, pero ang projected borrowings natin parang doble-doble,’’ he added. (So how much was our added borrowing? Projected borrowings are different from actual borrowings. I questioned this last year. Why is our projected deficit is that much but our projected borrowings have doubled.)

Lacson warned that the current generation is still not feeling the negative effects of the Philippine debts but the succeeding generations would.