The Philippine government is broke and any future financial requirements on more lockdowns may the Duterte administration in a tight bind.
Senator Panfilo Lacson raised this Tuesday April 6, as he cited a Department of Budget and Management (DBM) statement that government coffers have dried up.
Since funds are no longer available, “the bigger question remains – can we still afford more borrowings intended for dole-outs instead of for other productive purposes to boost our economy?‘’ Lacson asked.
‘’The last thing we need is ending up in a ‘Sisyphean’ (laborious or futile) situation,’’ he stressed.
Lacson was reacting to a query on the suggestion of Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon for President Duterte to call for a special session so that the proposed Bayanihan 3 law could be discussed and passed, and aid be given to the needy.
Drilon also said that the country could no longer afford another Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) because of the current economic hardships.
While the intention “may be good”, the government “must first take a serious look at the situation”, Lacson said of the proposal.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III also gave a similar opinion, saying that he is okay with convening a special session for the Bayanihan 3 but the DBM should first find funding sources for the measure.
As of November 2020, Philippine debt totaled P10.13 trillion. This was broken into P7.19 trillion in domestic debt and P2.94 trillion foreign debt.
In January of this year, the country’s outstanding debt further grew to about P10.33 billion.