Palace wants stimulus package PH can afford, not require ‘too much borrowing’
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Wednesday said it prefers a stimulus package to revive the economy post-COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic that the country can afford and does not require “too much borrowing.”
“Well because the pending bills now talk about the extension of emergency powers and the stimulus package, then Malacañang now wants a stimulus package we can actually fund and that will not require too much borrowing,” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an interview over ANC’s Headstart.
Citing Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Roque said only P140 billion is what the country could afford as a stimulus for the economy now.
“And the position of Secretary Dominguez is that it is better to have a very good credit rating so we can borrow cheaply, but that we should not borrow too much to finance the stimulus package. So the position of Secretary Dominguez is we should only offer stimulus that we can afford and right now that’s P140 billion,” he said.
Among the bills, legislators were tackling before the session adjourned sine die were the proposed P1.3-trillion Accelerated Recovery and Investment Stimulus for the Economy of the Philippines (Arise) and the P1.5-trillion COVID-19 Unemployment Reduction and Economic Stimulus (Cures).
But Dominguez said the legislature would commit an “unconstitutional act” if it insisted on passing the bills since it cannot be funded.
Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua also noted that the stimulus bills were not fundable since any supplemental budget or stand-by appropriation would require “new revenue sources” which are now “limited.”
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