‘Have a heart,’ Imee Marcos tells DOF chief after debt moratorium proposal denied | Inquirer News
FUNDS NEEDED TO HELP THOSE AFFECTED BY PANDEMIC

‘Have a heart,’ Imee Marcos tells DOF chief after debt moratorium proposal denied

/ 11:29 PM April 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — “Have a heart.”

Sen. Imee Marcos gave that reaction after Finance Secretary Carlos Dominquez III turned down her proposal to defer the country’s debt payment to augment funds for the government’s COVID-19 response.

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Dominguez, in a statement on Tuesday, said: “Debt moratorium has not crossed our mind. It was never entertained or will ever be a part of our crisis response measures.”

But Marcos insisted that the government should go “all-out” in its efforts to assist Filipinos affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Sec. Sonny, have a heart, hirap na po ang tao, marami ng Pilipinong gutom. Inutusan na tayo ni [President Rodrigo Duterte] na ‘beg, steal or borrow’,” she said in a message to reporters when sought for a comment.

[Secretary Sonny, have a heart. People are having a hard time. Many Filipinos are hungry. We have been ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte to “beg, steal, or borrow.”]

Marcos was referring to a remark the President earlier made in asking Dominguez to find more funds for the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Duterte, the P270 billion that had already been allotted was “not enough.”

“Magnakaw ka, maghiram ka. Wala akong pakialam. Produce mo ‘yung pera,” the chief executive said in a televised address last week.

[Steal it, borrow it. I don’t care. Produce the money.]

But Dominquez, in his statement on Marcos’ proposal, said the Philippines “cannot wish away our obligations at this critical time when the reliability of our word secures our economy’s capacity to bounce back once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.”

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“More favorable options are available for financing our emergency and recovery programs,” he added.

However, the senator said the postponement of interest payments “is neither mendicancy, theft or hopeless indebtedness.”

“Mismong [International Monetary Fund] linakad na ang palubag ng interes ng 25 bansa, maaring papayag rin sila na ipaubaya na muna ang bayad-interes ng Pilipinas ngayong No.1 tayo sa tinamaan ng virus sa Southeast Asia,” she said.

[The IMF itself has started the process of foregoing the interest [on loans made by] 25 countries. It may allow the Philippines to meanwhile skip paying interest as we are the No. 1 country being hit by the virus in Southeast Asia.]

“All out na po tayo, please Sir, all heart, itodo na po natin ang tulong sa ating kapwa!” she added.

[We’re going all out, sir, all heart. Let’s give all the help we can to our countrymen.]

As of this writing, the Department of Health has confirmed 5,223 COVID-19 cases nationwide, of whom 335 have died and 295 have recovered.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link.

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TAGS: Carlos Dominguez III, coronavirus disease, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, debt moratorium, DoF, Nation, News, Senator Imee Marcos
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