By: Elena Grace Flores
YouTube video by The Young Observer
ASSETS NG GOBYERNO IBEBENTA NI PRRD PARA IBIGAY SA MGA TAO
President Duterte Eyes Selling Govt. Properties
President Rodrigo Duterte broaches the idea to sell public properties if the government falls short of money to address the crisis in the country.
Duterte said that his last resort is to sell government assets. This includes teh Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). They are both in Pasay City built during the Marcos era. The President also instructs the finance secretary to find other means including Senator Imee Marcos’ suggested World Bank loan.
Senator Imee Marcos Pushes World Bank Loan
Sen. Imee Marcos also urges the Finance department to borrow some P440 billion from international lenders. This is to bolster the government’s emergency cash aid for the poor program during the coronavirus lockdown in Luzon.
Since March, Marcos – who chairs the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs – has been advising the Department of Finance (DOF) to borrow billions of pesos as the government can still manage a debt ceiling of “5.4 percent from the present 3.2-percent level.” She said that the lives of the people are the priority right now. Worrying about the decline of the economy is superficial when the country’s World Bank credit facility is very healthy.
The executive branch earlier said that some P275 billion in the present budget are for the 2-month cash allowance. The amount is for the 18 million “poorest of the poor” families.
Marcos explains that the amount may not be enough since the lockdown of the of the capital may go beyond April 30 as the government’s mass testing program has yet to begin.
No Marcos-Duterte Arguments
President Rodrigo Duterte discusses the possibility of selling the properties of the government earlier. This is if funds to combat the coronavirus disease are not enough. The government plans to spend up to ₱600 billion for its COVID-19 response, but more than half of the amount will come from new loans. The Department of Finance confirms this.
So far, the government spent ₱290 billion in programs and projects that would soften the impact of the COVID-19 devastation on the economy.
Duterte instructs Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez to find other sources of funds as middle-class workers begin to appeal for financial assistance from the government.
Last month, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a $3-million grant for the Philippines to procure emergency medical supplies and health care services needed in containing the spread of COVID-19.
The Philippines also secured a $100-million (P5.05 billion) loan from the World Bank to boost the country’s fight against the global pandemic.