Press Release
August 10, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara warned the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) against making the mistake committed by the United States government, which ultimately led to the American debt crisis.

The country should be cautious about allocating too much of its resources to welfare and too little to innovation and productivity, said Angara at the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) hearing yesterday. He said that was this imbalance in spending that contributed greatly to the economic problems faced by the United States today.

"The budget proposal for 2012 is one of the most well thought out and most transparent budgets I have seen in the last 20 years," said the veteran lawmaker. "The intentions are well-meaning. However, some of the policy tools we are using may not be appropriate to achieving the goal of permanently reducing poverty over the long run.

Angara observed that, "Spending is geared more and more toward welfare rather than toward achieving productivity and innovation."

He stressed two things that will have long-term positive economic impact: job creation and income generation, which could be achieved through investment in infrastructure development especially in the countryside.

"We not only create more jobs when we start constructing more roads and airports, we also bring these jobs to far-flung areas," said Angara. "And by making these areas accessible, we support tourism, which directly and indirectly affect many industries."

Angara added that research and development (R&D) should remain on the government's list of priorities.

"R&D gives us an edge in innovation," said Angara. "By funding R&D, we give Filipinos room to develop our own technology that will contribute to the country's development."

"Welfare projects are important in cushioning the impact of a crisis on the most vulnerable among the population. But they should not be made a long-term recourse," stressed Angara.

"This welfare program has a way of being embedded into society. It will be hard to uproot it later on. The government should, instead, invest in genuine drivers of growth, not just in dole-outs," he said.

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