Lawmakers give mixed views on PH $1B contribution to IMFBy Karen Boncocan
MANILA, Philippines—Lawmakers had mixed views Tuesday on the country’s $1-billion contribution to the International Monetary Fund.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ move to lend the said amount to the IMF to help stabilize the world economy from the effects of the eurozone debt crisis was lauded by Parañaque Representative Roilo Golez who said in House Resolution 2522 that the act enhanced “our standing as an investment haven and one of the emerging tiger economies of the world.”
Golez filed on Tuesday a resolution commending the executive branch for its decision to lend the IMF $1 billion.
Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño, however, batted for amendments to the BSP charter that would put a stop to loans being granted to the IMF.
The party-list lawmaker said the BSP should be prohibited from lending public funds to foreign banks and financial institutions.
He alleged that the loan was the idea of members of the BSP eyeing positions within the IMF, World Bank and Asian Development Bank.
The country’s reserves should instead be used to finance “common production facilities for industries, postharvest facilities, manufacturing facilities, even renewable energy systems that would boost the local economy.”
Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo Angara saw nothing wrong in lending the said amount “if it is part of our reserves.”
He said the country’s reserves were meant only for emergencies and that he personally thought it was important “na makatulong sa (to be of help to the) international community.”
He said that his stand would be different if the said amount was part of the country’s budget, explaining that it was better “na unahin muna natin ang urgent needs ng bansa (to prioritize the country’s urgent needs).”
Angara, however, remarked that a pledge of $1 billion was “quite big… Nakakapagtaka (It’s surprising that) we’re giving the same amount as Thailand and Malaysia, which have bigger per capita incomes.”