Trim 'excess fats,' wasteful spending in 2022 budget, Drilon urges Congress | Inquirer News
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Trim ‘excess fats,’ wasteful spending in 2022 budget, Drilon urges Congress

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 05:27 PM August 24, 2021
Trim 'excess fats,' wasteful spending in 2022 budget, Drilon urges Congress

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MANILA, Philippines— Worried by the growing national debt and budget deficit, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Tuesday said that he would reduce “wasteful and unnecessary” government spending as well as “excess fats” in the 2022 national budget.

Malacañang submitted the proposed P5.024-trillion national budget to Congress on Monday.

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“The rising outstanding national debt, which is to be paid out of the taxpayers’ money, calls for a need to eliminate unnecessary items in the budget. We need to get rid of the fat in the national budget. We must trim the bloated spending for the security sector next year so that we can ease the impact of the mounting debt and deficit on our national coffers,” Drilon said in a statement.

“While this rising debt is something we cannot avoid because of the pandemic, what we can do is to make sure that every centavo that we allocate is spent judiciously. There is no room for inefficiency. There is no excuse for underspending and delays,” he said.

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“The enormous debt is alarming,” Drilon went on, “We are approaching the red alert zone for our debt and that can affect our financial standing. However, we can tolerate it as long as it goes to our pandemic response and it is used for the much-needed ayuda for our countrymen.”

Congress, he said, can trim the “excess fats and unnecessary expenses” that exist under the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac), such as the P28.1-billion anti-insurgency fund.

READ: P28B ‘election war chest’? Drilon to oppose ‘tooth and nail’ NTF-ELCAC’s 2022 budget

If the P28.1 billion program and similar ones are deleted from the budget, it will help reduce borrowing and the gap between the budget and revenue.

“We can remove this item or channel the funds to ayuda,” Drilon said, adding that cash aid during this pandemic must be prioritized over NTF-Elcac.

“We must cut funding for the security sector in favor of the social services sector,” he stressed.

Drilon said Congress may also reduce the government’s funds for confidential and intelligence activities worth billions of pesos to save money.

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According to him, the national outstanding debt has grown exponentially due to increased borrowings to fund the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is expected to reach P11.73 trillion by the end of 2021 and a further climb to P13.42 trillion by the end of 2022.

READ: PH debt by time Duterte is gone: P13.42 trillion

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TAGS: 2022 budget, appropriation, Debt, Franklin Drilon, pandemic, Security
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