House panel to DTI: We’re working on bigger budget for you
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives will try to look for funding sources to boost the proposed 2024 budget of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Elizaldy Co said in a statement on Tuesday.
The proposed P7.91 billion DTI budget might not be enough in terms of bagging investments for the country, according to Co, chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations.
“If we are really serious in generating more investments and creating better-paying jobs for our people, Congress must ensure that DTI and its attached agencies have the resources to its do work properly,” Co said.
“We also have to spend more to develop the products we export as well as train Filipinos to be entrepreneurs; to be job creators, not seekers. If we could do this, we could prevent our people from voting with their feet.”
The DTI’s allocation in the 2024 National Expenditures Program (NEP) was discussed during the Committee on Appropriations hearing last Thursday. Though it was 9 percent higher than the P6.58 billion in 2023, lawmakers still thought it would not be enough for the DTI to attract investments to the country.
According to Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual, the foreign visits made by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. provided DTI with investment leads of around $25 billion in 2022 and $46 billion in 2023.
However, Pascual said that the P7.91 billion budget given to them by the Department of Budget and Management was lower than the original proposal of P21.03 billion for 2024.
Aside from Co, other lawmakers — including Marikina Rep. Stella Quimbo, the committee senior vice chair — said there would be a need to provide more financial support for DTI and its programs.
Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez also commended DTI’s programs, saying that there was an increase in exports and investments under its Exports and Investments Development Program from 2022 to 2023.