Press Release
June 27, 2010

Delivery of social services, deficit and bureaucracy

As the whole nation awaits the dawning of a new administration and the deep reforms it promises to deliver, Senator Edgardo J. Angara said that Aquino's promise of social justice and action on a host of problems plaguing the country will require huge investments to enhance productivity and provide foundation for future progress of our country.

"The new administration will have to confront penetrating issues such as poverty and corruption. Huge investments will have to be made on physical infrastructure and social services: our health care, education system, our huge housing backlog, and our great demand for energy," said Angara who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance.

On Aquino III's promise not to raise taxes, Angara said, "Stepping up tax collection efforts combined with wise spending could solve our budget deficit. Still, I don't believe any administration should bind itself beforehand to not being able to raise revenue through taxes. Taxation is a sustainable source of revenue for the country. The important thing to remember is we need to keep stimulating the economy and maintain a level of growth, in order to create jobs and prevent more people from sinking into poverty."

Further, Angara said that we should use our borrowing in a way that it supports growth because growth itself will help us reduce our borrowing and reduce debt. Over time, a stronger rebound in the form of higher growth levels could allow quicker debt reduction and a certain amount of debt can be considered beneficial if debt spending aids economic welfare, since government spending on public goods adds to social benefit.

"This calls for a well-targeted government spending plan. The President has to lead in the overhaul of how we spend limited resources in our national budget. Budgetary reform should focus on making our system of allocation achieve fairness, equity and transparency. He should change the closed, secretive budget process - from the time it originates from the bowels of the bureaucracy, to the impenetrable Department of Budget and Management, up to the limited examination made by Congress, and then finally the huge discretionary authority of the President to choose what appropriation gets released and what projects are funded," said Angara.

Lastly, Angara said that the President must confront the thick, paralyzing bureaucracy that makes governing the country very difficult.

"With the new Aquino administration promising a stronger focus on good governance, we hope to see a reduced cost of doing business and a more favorable investment climate that will boost growth," concluded Angara.

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