Bayan Muna party-list on Friday said President Rodrigo Duterte should stop taking on more foreign debt as loans had already surpassed the government’s Covid-19 expenses by 500 percent.
Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate and Bayan Muna chairman Neri Colmenares demanded that government “stop burying the Filipino people in debt unless accounting of all expenditures are first audited,” claiming that Duterte is now “awash with funds from these loans.”
“The Duterte administration has borrowed a total of P413.5 billion in foreign loans from January to June 2020. This is actually more than the P374 billion which Pres. Duterte reportedly spent for his Covid response,” Colmenares said.
“Worse, President Duterte also borrowed P1.68 trillion by selling government securities in the same period. This is a total of P2.093 trillion loans just in the first six months of this year,” said the Bayan Muna chairman
“All the P374 billion claimed by President Duterte to have been realigned for Covid has now been replenished, so why keep on borrowing when the P2.093 trillion is more than five times the P374 billion spent by government for Covid?” Colmenares said.
“With these monies, government can afford mass testing, giving the second round of SAP aid to the poor as required by the Bayanihan law including financial aid to drivers and even the middle class, as well as SMEs,” he added.
“There are 998,342 MSMEs in the Philippines and yet Pres. Duterte reported in his SONA that they have only approved 2,600 MSME loan applications for a measly Php 182.5 Million. Saan napunta ang bilyon na sinasabi ni Pres. Dutert para sa MSMEs?” asked Colmenares.
“The total debt of all Filipinos now, under President Duterte is a staggering P9.05 trillion” said Zarate.
“This means that each and every Filipino man, woman and child owes a staggering P83,000 each. We demand a thorough government accounting of the funds, and where these funds were spent, before President Duterte incurs more loans and buries us in more debts,” he said.