The Manila Bulletin quoted Senator Ed Angara:
“About 70 percent of our people live on 42 pesos a day, and about 4,000 families are hungry. That’s a very serious problem. It’s not just simply lack of economic growth, but what we have is a jobless growth which widens the income gap even more,” Angara said.
“We should concern ourselves not so much with taming our deficit. Instead we should remind ourselves that our goal is to grow our country, and enhance the income and living standards of our people through job creation,” he added.
Angara further questioned why the government seems to be pulling out stimulus programs right in the middle of a steady recovery in the midst of a global financial crisis.
“What is the comparative figure for Southeast Asia? Their debt-to-GDP ratio is even higher than ours but they are more progressive because they are using public spending to stimulate growth in their economy. Why are we suddenly pulling out stimulus right in the middle of a steady, gradual recovery of our economy? It’s as if we assume we have already achieved full recovery, which we have not. I question that kind of judgment,” said Angara.
Angara is saying the budget does not respond to the pressing socio-economic need of our time. Mandating the government not to pay debt is economic suicide. How else is government going to finance operations in the near term without some borrowing, and some streamlining of its operations as well as payment of its outstanding obligations?
Angara panders to soundbites and what is sexy, not what is smart.