February 10, 2012
ANGARA SEEKS REVIEW OF AUTOMATIC DEBT REPAYMENT
Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged the government to revisit the country's existing budget laws specifically the policy on automatic allocation for interest and principal payment of government debts.
Angara, vice chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said that debt servicing eats up a significant portion of the national budget, depriving the poor of their right to social services. He said that at least 40 percent of the country's budget goes to servicing of interest payments and principal amortization of debts.
During the interpellation for Senate Bill No. 2857, "An Act Institutionalizing the Participation of Civil Society Organizations (CSOS) in the Preparation and Authorization Process of the Annual National Budget, Providing Effective Mechanisms Therefore, and for Other Purposes", Angara stressed that the policy on automatic appropriations on debt service further encourages reckless borrowing and spending as it guarantees payment without legislative intervention and without going through a thorough screening.
"The power to realign the budget and savings and the automatic debt appropriations make for a deadly combination as it allows the manipulation of the National Budget. As long as these loopholes exist, the temptation will always be present. We must therefore revisit and propose amendments to the budget laws to ensure fiscal discipline," he proposed.
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