Pimentel calls for review of admin’s medium-term fiscal framework
MANILA, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III is calling for a review of the administration’s 2022-2028 medium-term fiscal framework.
Pimentel made the appeal on Wednesday as he questioned the P4.5-billion confidential and intelligence funds (CIF) in the Office of the President’s P8.9-billion 2023 budget.
“The president has a medium-term fiscal framework… Mayroon pa doong Growth Inducing Expenditure. So, if we maintain a P4.5-billion confidential and intelligence fund in a single office, are we consistent with that office’s same statement of a medium fiscal framework?” the senator asked.
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Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Hubert Guevara said that CIF is necessary to support the plans of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
“While I agree that the President has his plans in place, it should not also detract us from the fact that confidential and intelligence funds are much needed in pursuit of his plans as well,” he responded.
Pimentel then appealed for a review of the fiscal framework.
“Kasi fiscal nga. Fiscal framework, ‘di ba ito ‘yung how we raise revenue [and] how we spend the money of the government?
(It’s fiscal. Fiscal framework and this is how we raise revenue and spend the government’s money, right?)
“So I’ll just make an appeal to the Office of the President, that the executive branch to review your own medium fiscal framework. You test. You test the budget that the executive branch prepared against the concept of the medium-term fiscal framework,” the senator said.
Meanwhile, Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin claimed they took a national strategy toward safety.
“This whole-of-nation approach requires us to have flexibility. We have not increased too much what the last administration had as far as the CIF is concerned.
“We just replicated it, and the reason there is probably in a post-pandemic world, we would need a higher response or we would need to be more responsive to the requirements of international and domestic security,” Bersamin explained. —Kristelle Razon, INQUIRER.net trainee
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