IF the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has its way, they would choose to borrow money than impose new taxes.
NEDA chief Secretary Karl Chua emphasized the need to borrow money required so that the Philippine government can finance whatever is needed as stipulated in the Bayanihan to Arise as One Act, or Bayanihan 3.
He said the government is aware that funds won’t be coming in the form of taxes – or new taxes, and as such is compelled to find other sources from where funds would come from to ensure that help is given to those who have been adversely affected by the continuing onslaught of the deadly virus from Wuhan, China.
“‘Yung Bayanihan 2, ‘yung 2020, at ‘yung napakalaking 2021 budget kasi ang dami nating nakalaan na pera na pwede naman natin gamitin para tulungan ‘yung mga naapektuhan. Kasi kung mag Ba-Bayanihan 3 tayo, syempre additional funds ‘yan. Since hindi natin mako-kolekta ‘yan sa pagdagdag ng buwis, uutangin natin ‘yan, so binabalanse din natin,” Chua said in a televised interview.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) earlier said that the government has yet to use what remains of the Bayanihan 2 funds. According to DBM, the government has yet to spend P6.49 billion from what has been allotted for Bayanihan 2.
“Ngayon po punta po tayo sa Bayanihan 2. ‘Yung Bayanihan 2, last year pa na-enact tapos na-extend tapos by June 30, hindi pa tapos. So naisip namin ang problema kaya siguro solusyonan natin kung bakit hindi pa nagagastos ‘yung dating pera na nakalaan,” the NEDA chief added.
Chua, however, clarified that the government’s main concern is not money but the limited budget appropriation.
“Pangalawa sa pondo, marami na po tayong nakuhang pondo. Money is not a problem but we are limited by the appropriation kasi may budget tayo eh, kung ano pong sinabi ng budget iyan ‘yung puwede nating gastusin,” Chua further averred.
“So yan po yung difference. We have the funds but the appropriation limits us.”