By: Elena Grace Flores
YouTube video by Imee Marcos
Senator Imee Marcos spoke with PTV-4’s Aljo Bendijo, Bendijo program over Radyo Pilipinas
Senator Imee Marcos’ Debt Moratorium Proposal
Senator Imee Marcos pleads to the Finance Secretary, Carlos Dominguez to “have a heart.” She says that postponing debt payments would be a better option to shore up funds than to follow President Rodrigo Duterte’s suggestion. That is for the economic team to sell assets and steal if they have to. She also cites a debt relief program grant by the International Monetary Fund to 25 poor nations. Mostly from Africa. This restructures their loans for the next six months. This is a debt moratorium strategy that she got from her late father, former President Ferdinand Marcos in times of crisis. A proven way to be able to put the people’s welfare first.
Dominguez Rejects the Senator’s Suggestion
Dominguez rejects Marcos’ proposal for government to halt payments for maturing foreign debts. Despite the fact that this could free up cash for COVID-19 response. He calls it a “narrow-sighted” measure. Therefore, Dominguez shots down the call of the Senator to temporarily suspend loan payments to foreign lenders. Marcos’ idea to enable the government to extend more subsidies to struggling families and companies that ran out of business due to lockdowns would not be possible anymore for a longer-term. Just in case the problem continues after the end of May.
Economy and People’s Welfare Check and Balance
Marcos, chairman of the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs, added that her idea would unlock some ₱451 billion under the 2020 national budget. That amount covers interest payments on both domestic and foreign loans, a check with the General Appropriations Act showed. However, the Finance Secretary said: “Debt moratorium has not crossed our mind. It was never entertained or will ever be a part of our crisis response measures,” Dominguez said in a statement sent earlier. He added that doing this would put the country’s track record in peril. Honoring our word has allowed us to remain as one of the most attractive investment destinations and one of the world’s favorite bond issuers,” the Finance chief added. On the other hand, the Senator wants to address the people’s plight first then work on the economy when things are already in control.