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Sobra-sobra! Lacson opposes gov’t plan to borrow P1.2T

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by Xave Gregorio

Senator Panfilo Lacson is unhappy with the government’s plan to borrow P1.2 trillion to finance the 2019 budget, saying that a huge chunk of borrowed money end up unused.

“Okay lang mangutang kung magagamit at may paglalaanang budget para sa development upang magsisilbing investment dahil may babalik sa atin. Ang problema, hindi naman nagagamit dahil laging malaki ang unused appropriations taon taon,” Lacson said Wednesday (July 11) in a text message.

“Ang mas masama pa, ninanakaw lang ng ilang mga masisiba na walang kabusugan sa pera, samantalang tayong mga mamamayan ang magbabayad ng kaukulang buwis,” he continued.

The Bureau of Treasury announced Tuesday (July 10) that it would borrow close to P1.2 trillion next year, 20 percent more than last year’s P986 billion in borrowings.

Around P892 billion would be sourced locally from treasury bills, while the rest would be culled from foreign creditors.

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto warned that borrowing money may crowd out the private sector and may cause inflation.

Inflation had ballooned to 5.2 percent in June, hitting yet another five-year high and surpassing government’s newly-set inflation target.

But Recto assured that the Senate would be scrutinizing the proposed P3.8 billion 2019 budget when it reaches them.

“We should be careful when we borrow money. We don’t want to unnecessarily increase our debt and spend it on unproductive investments. Interest rates are going up and future generations will pay for them,” he said in a text message.