Press Release
July 27, 2022


Senator Chiz Escudero on Tuesday said the country's economic managers should flesh out the details of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s "very compelling vision" of how he wants to navigate the nation in the next six years, particularly the sources of funds to implement his initiatives.

"The President has presented a very compelling vision of which the country should unite around," Escudero said. "What follows is the hard part of funding those dreams," he added, referring to first State of the Nation Address (SONA) of the Chief Executive.

President Marcos bared his plans to, among others, modernize and further improve the healthcare system by duplicating in other parts of the country specialty hospitals such as the Philippine Heart Center, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, and Lung Center of the Philippines--all built during the time of his father's presidency.

He also vowed to even expand the previous administration's massive infrastructure "Build Build Build" by adding more through the "Public-Private Partnership" to spur economic growth in the countryside.

The three-term senator from Bicol called on the government to divulge the cost of the SONA programs and how these will be financed because ultimately, he said, the taxpayers will pay for these projects.

"Every government program carries a price tag, often hidden, while the purported benefits are highly praised. Lost in the euphoria is the fact that it is the people, and nobody else, who will eventually pay for them. The buck begins with the taxpayer," Escudero said.

"Papaano ba nila balak na pondohan ang mga proyektong binanggit ng Pangulo? Will it be through new taxes or new borrowings? Will the people pay in pain right now through higher taxes or will the government just take a mortgage on our children's future? We need to know." he added.

Escudero also cautioned the Department of Finance (DOF) against imposing new taxes that will make life harder for the majority of Filipinos.

On the proposed Value Added Tax (VAT) imposition on Netflix and online digital transactions via e-commerce sites Lazada and Shopee, the senator said the economic managers should be able to present a clear and comprehensive proposal.

"There is no doubt that the people have united behind the President's articulation of their aspirations. But unity is soluble in taxes - high and unfair taxes," he stressed.

Escudero said he is looking forward to receiving the proposed P5.2-trillion national budget for 2023 at the soonest possible time to determine if the SONA promises are indeed funded.

"A tabulation of how much these programs cost and how each will be funded must be highlighted in the administration's 2023 national budget," he said.

Escudero also vowed to work for the expeditious passage of next year's budget to ensure timely implementation of various programs.

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