3Senator Edgardo J. Angara reiterated his call for increased government spending, urging the Aquino administration to rethink fiscal policy and redeploy government savings into programs that could spur economic growth.
"Why are we hoarding so much public money? Money unspent, is money useless--a useless asset when there is so much urgent necessary infrastructure and public works crying out for prosecution and implementation," said Angara, Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance.
Citing the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) as an example, he says, "In a period of eight months, they have spent only P16 billion out of their P90 billion budget for infrastructure. What's happening to the P74 Billion? We ought to spend it to create badly needed infrastructure in the country."
Angara explains, "According to the World Economic Forum, we rank 105th out of 142 countries in the world in terms of infrastructure. In fact, they say we have 'worsened' in terms of spending. Why are we doing worse when we have all this money saved up?"
Debt watcher Moody's Investment Service reported a sluggish revenue performance for the Philippines compared to peers at only 14.7 percent while the average revenue-to-GDP ratio for the Ba-median is 23.7 percent.
Moody's Assistant Vice-President Christian de Guzman said, "Fiscal austerity since the Aquino administration took over has indeed underpinned the upgrade to Ba2 this past June, but at the same time it has acted as a drag on growth."
The country's gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the second quarter is at only 3.4 percent compared to last year's 8.9 percent.
Warning against too much 'compression of government expenditures', Moody's de Guzman explained that infrastructure spending and job generation declined as a result, and they were largely blamed for the slowdown in the first semester.
Angara underscored importance of increased government spending on social and infrastructure programs to reach the ideal 7 percent to 8 percent real GDP growth, especially in light of declining exports and remittances from both the United States and Europe.