Despite several contradictions, the government is pushing through with its plan of a P330B stimulus package. A plan meant to save businesses and to help the jobless weather the financial storm.
Senator Francis Escudero has already expressed opposition to the plan. Saying that the government should instead use tax cuts and exemptions to save the jobless, so that their money would remain in their pockets rather than being used by the government to spend for them. For in doing so, the money might end up in the wrong pockets. But the senator’s plan isn’t right, says socio-economic planning secretary Ralph Recto. Recto says that the government cannot afford to lose revenues during times like these.
Another entity, in the person of James McCormack, head of Asia Pacific Sovereigns at Fitch Ratings, oppose the stimulus package. Saying that small governments such as that of the Philippines, “would find it difficult to collect such stimulus fund”.
So why does the government have to spend for us?
According to Budget Undersecretary Laura B. Pascua, most of the money would be spent on cash transfers for the poor, educational assistance to parents who have lost their jobs and infrastructure.
Taking people’s money to give it back to them? Sounds rather useless?
Why bother taking money out of people’s pockets when you’re just going to give it back? Indeed, tax cuts and exemptions would sound and probably be more helpful to jobless Filipinos.
And another thing, government financial institutions (GFIs) like the LandBank, Social Security System (SSS) and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) would each contribute P12.5B to the stimulus fund. Shouldn’t the government be concerned to increase GFI funds so that the poor could get a larger amount when they need it?
The government’s plan must be crafted from the plan of other countries like US and Japan, but they have to remember that the size of the country’s economy is not even comparable to that of the US or Japan. Smaller economies should be more modest in their actions.
Senator Escudero has a point, the government taking the people’s money is a dangerous thing. Where the money would end up in is as uncertain as today’s economy. We cannot afford to corrupt a single peso, unfortunately, our lawmakers don’t understand this.