Press Release
October 14, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio Abad to rethink the expenditure plan of the Development Budget Coordinating Committee (DBCC) for the remainder of the fiscal year during their presentation at the Senate.

"The Aquino government is too spending-shy, and because of this, there are lesser jobs created and slower growth of our economy," Angara said, referring to the country's second quarter GDP rate of only 3.4 percent, down year on year from with 8.9 percent.

To make, the DBM proposed a spending plan amounting to P72 billion for every remaining month of the year.

However Angara said, "That is too little, too late. The government's fiscal policy has been quite costly for our people in terms of human capital development."

Angara, Vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, advised the DBCC to revise its strategy, "otherwise, results and impact of our efforts will be marginal."

The lawmaker stressed the importance of a more decentralized strategy in reaction to the DBCC presentation showing an increased government spending where 90 percent will come from the National Government and GOCC's, and the balance from local government units (LGU's).

"This P72 billion is money readily available, and is supposed to be quick disbursing so that it could immediately target and have an impact on poor, underdeveloped communities," said Angara. "That will be hard to do through centralized spending."

Angara further called on DBM Secretary Abad to look into expediting bidding processes in the country as was done in 2008, and devolve government spending by involving LGU's and the private sector.

"Why don't we assign some of these projects to the LGU's, which, in turn can tap the private contractors in their area to do the work," he suggested. "We can even partner with the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as the Makati Business Club for programs such as classroom-building."

The Asian Development Bank said that the government's decreased infrastructure spending and increased reliance on private sector investments have been late to take off, thus the effect on the GDP growth rate.

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