Next PH leader should prep solutions for huge debt, other serious problems – Lacson

Published June 6, 2021, 9:59 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

The Philippines’ next leader should take into account the overwhelming problems hounding the country amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and must be prepared to solve these, Senator Panfilo Lacson said on Sunday.

More than deciding to file his or her candidacy and get elected, Lacson said the next leader should be prepared to deal with the humongous problems besetting the country, which includes a ballooning national debt, that swelled to P10.991-trillion as of April 2021, unemployment and continued corruption.

“It’s not about prestige or being part of history as being the President of the country. The more important thing is to ask yourself if you can solve the country’s problems. Ang importante: Kaya ba, at may solusyon ba (What’s important is can we overcome and is there a solution?” Lacson said in an interview on DWIZ radio.

“There is also a need to seek the advice and ideas of economic experts and other experienced persons to find solutions—short, middle and long-term—to confront and address the problems aggravated by the pandemic,” he added.

Lacson also said the country’s next leader should also be able to address the nation’s territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea.

The lawmaker also said he/she has to take into account the P9.6-trillion seed money to be raised for the pensions of military and other uniformed personnel (MUPs), and a yearly budget of at least P1-trillion for the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) as a result of the Supreme Court ruling on the Mandanas petition to take effect next year.

He noted that the government has suffered a shortfall in revenue collections, with revenues at P2.84-trillion already including non-tax revenues – compared to the original target of P3.25-trillion.

“Whoever will lead the country should take these into account along with solutions to other problems such as a debt that has ballooned to almost P11 trillion as of end-April, the elections in BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) and joblessness,” he said.

“They should ask themselves: ‘Can I, in my personal and professional capacity, develop solutions to these problems?’ If yes, let’s share them through public service. If not, it may be better to keep quiet,” Lacson pointed out.

The senator also said the country’s next leader should exert more effort into pouring more resources into research and development so the Philippines can develop its own solutions in addressing the pandemic instead of relying on foreign countries for assistance.