Senator Edgardo J. Angara tasked Department of Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad to ensure efficient and stimulative government spending in 2012 and avoid idling government funds in state coffers.
"This year, the government became too shy to spend most of it funds--and this unfortunately influenced the private sector to likewise keep their money in their pockets," he explained during today's budget hearing.
Angara, vice-chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, advised the leaders of the DBM to channel the government resources into initiatives that will help minimize unemployment.
"We must intensify spending in the next fiscal year and make sure that the bulk of it goes to job creators and job-multiplying infrastructure projects such as road building and housing construction," said Angara.
Citing statistics from the Department of Public Works and Highways, he said that 66 workers gain employment per kilometer of road constructed. Meanwhile, for every 100 jobs created in housing, 18 jobs are generated in ancillary industries.
The veteran senator and former president of the Philippine National Bank also suggested that perhaps, government spending can be decentralized.
"Why don't we assign some of these projects to the LGUs, who, in turn can tap the private contractors in their area to do the work. We can also approach the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as the Makati Business Club to help with classroom-building programs," he said.