Pacquiao vows to audit P12-T gov’t debt
Sen. Manny Pacquiao is “amazed” that the national government’s outstanding debt went up to a new high of P 12.68 trillion and yet the Philippines “lagged behind” in its COVID-19 response.
The retired boxing champ said he would audit the government’s borrowings, projects and contracts for the past 10 years if he was elected president.
“It’s amazing … We have a pandemic. It’s amazing that for one administration, our debt ballooned to P12 trillion from the previous P6 trillion,” Pacquiao said in a press briefing in San Remigio, Cebu, on Thursday.
“Before this administration took office, our debt was at P6 trillion. I am just telling the truth … In this administration, I am wondering how our debt ballooned to over P12 trillion,” he said.
Pacquiao made the remarks after the Bureau of the Treasury said the government’s borrowings already reached P12.68 trillion in March from P12.09 trillion in February.
He also wondered how the Philippines was behind its pandemic response given its borrowings for COVID-19 measures.
“Let’s say there’s a pandemic, we keep on borrowing. We have trillions in loans, say we borrowed P3 trillion. If we borrowed P3 trillion for the pandemic, why are we still lagging behind our COVID-19 response?” he said.
Pacquiao said he would take a second look at the country’s debts and how it was spent on projects and contracts for the past 10 years.
“I will audit everything, 10 years backward. So that they will know,” he added.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.