Press Release
August 14, 2009


Opposition Sen. Chiz Escudero yesterday said it was ironic that while the net worth of President Gloria rose substantially since she came to power her government has also maintained a seemingly insatiable desire to rack up more debts.

"The country's foreign debts creditors nearly doubled this year to P4.8 trillion from around P2.8 trillion in 2001. But at the same time, the net worth of Mrs. Arroyo increased during the same period by 114 percent from P66.8 million to P143.54 million!," Escudero said.

"In other words, the country grows poorer as she gets richer." Escudero noted that P630 billon, or nearly half of this year's budget of P1.4 trillion, goes to debt payments alone.

And yet, he stressed, nothing has been done to address the P300 billion lost annually to inefficient collection on the part of the Bureau of Customs (P100 billion) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (P200 billion).

"This amount would have sufficed to double the budget for education," he noted.

In 2006, government used 32 percent of the national budget for debt payments, while from 2001-2005, it accrued P2.4 trillion in new debts for an average of P487 annually.

During the same period, the Arroyo administration incurred debts that far exceeded the borrowings of the past three governments.

The Aquino, Ramos and Estrada governments secured loans of P388 billion, P401 billion and P725 billion, respectively, for total combined borrowings of P1.46 trillion

"The next president should insist on lowering debt payments and review our debt policy, so that it can focus more on domestic spending," Escudero said.

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