Press Release
August 10, 2011

Kapihan sa Senado with Sen. Ralph Recto

Oil prices

- Oil prices should go down
- Agad-agad dapat ibaba ang presyo ng langis
- At least P5 rollback, easily P5
- with a weak US economy, konti lang ang gagastos na Amerikano, konti lang magkakarga ng gasoline, less demand for oil
- that's why global crude prices is decreasing ($110 per barrel to $83per barrel)
- dapat mag-reflect ang pagbaba sa local oil prices
- that's the immediate benefit of the US credit downgrade


- pakinabangan ang Malampaya share to bring down power costs
- Of the P310 billion lump sums in the 2012 budget, P25B ilagay para ibaba ang kuryente
- Govt to earn P25B a year as Malampaya share
- 30% cost of doing business like a restaurant is for power
- High power cost reason why low FDIs (Foreign Direct Investments)

Private Public Partnership (PPP) program/Budget

- Forget muna PPP, spend the budget first
- We passed the budget (2011) on time, but they did not spend it
- Now they're asking us to approve P310B worth of lump sums appropriations, What assurance that they will spend it
- Naantala spending co sang dami lump sum appropriations
- Dapat idetalye lahat; once ma-satisfy yan then we can talk PPP
- There are too many lump sums or blank cheks in the budget
- You have PPP to tap private sector to help in building infras but you, yourself don't spend enough your budget
- Use budget to build bridges, airports and roads
- Once you satisfy that, saka na pag-usapan ang PPP
- Di mo nga nagastos ang budget, mag-PPP ka pa?
- We must know what we are doing
- Ang budget dapat gastusin ng tama, lalo na for domestic like schools, hospitals
- Tama lang ang pagtitipid but not too much
- We hope we can do better (spending) in second half
- It's a catch -up decade for us.

Impact of US crisis to US-based OFWs

- OFW to scrimp on their remittances
- but impact not immediate, may lag time na 2 to 3 months
- But what are the opportunities
- we could improve trade relations with China
- US and Europe have problems but not Asia especially China
- I think this is the lost decade (to grow) for US and Europe
- But is this the lost decade for Asia, China? I don't think so.
- the country has to play catch up (with US being downgraded & Phl being upgraded)
- even before the downgrading, OFWs in other parts of the world like MENA (middle east, north Africa) are already having problems. Saudization is also an issue.
- let's create the jobs here

VAT Toll

- You can't round off a tax.
- The devil is in the details
- Will let BIR implement it
- But practical problems will arise like rounding off toll fee to reflect the 12 pct and putting the names and addresses of the toll users in the receipt
- Budget BESF (budget expenditures and sources of financing) does not name VAT toll as revenue source
- Already filed a bill exempting toll from VAT

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