Proposed Mandatory Savings Act filed in House; here's what it does

Published April 1, 2022, 6:12 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano led the filing Thursday, March 31 of a bill that would institutionalize his earlier proposal of requiring different government agencies to set aside five percent in budgetary savings for the proverbial “rainy days”.

(Ali Vicoy/ File photo/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Filed at the House of Representatives was House Bill (HB) No.10832, or the “Mandatory Savings Act of 2022”. It mandates all government departments, bureaus, offices, agencies, financial institutions (GFIs), and instrumentalities as well as government-owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs) to raise five percent in budgetary savings by streamlining their activities and projects deemed inessential.

“Basically, it’s a legislative authority mandating a five-percent savings then allowing the government the flexibility na gamitin ‘to sa mga dadating na pagsubok (to use this during challenging times),” Cayetano, the Taguig-Pateros 1st district congressman, said in a press conference.

Taguig 2nd district Rep. Lani Cayetano, Camarines Sur 2nd district Rep. Luis Raymund “Lray” Villafuerte, Jr., Batangas 2nd district Rep. Raneo Abu, and Laguna 1st district Rep. Dan Fernandez accompanied the ex-Speaker in filing the measure.

Taguig-Pateros Rep. Cayetano came up with the savings suggestion as a response to the erstwhile P200 monthly fuel subsidy that economic managers pushed for the benefit of poor Filipino families amid the current fuel price crisis.

The former Speaker’s suggested scheme was supposedly good enough to produce P10,000 in cash assistance or “ayuda” to each Filipino family.

The bill proposes a five percent mandatory savings to generate a projected amount of P250 billion “to fund assistance to our countrymen who are in dire need to recover from the adverse effects of the present pandemic”, he said.

In order to implement this measure, the bill proposes streamlining and scaling down government activities that are “no longer essential in the delivery of public services and which may be scaled down, phased-out or abolished, subject to civil service rules and regulations”.

At the press conference, the Taguig-Pateros lawmaker said the P250 billion fund is “very flexible” and can be used to address the issues and concerns not just of 20 million Filipino households but also of specific sectors, including transportation, food, healthcare for the elderly and most vulnerable, and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“This is not a dole-out, this is actually kick starting yung (the) small businesses,” he said.