Government to pay off debts incurred during past administration

Naval, Biliran (31 August) — Inspite of varied reactions from the different sectors in society especially those that are against the former dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, yet, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo upholds her stand to pay off debts incurred during the Marcos regime and the past administrations.

Although the government is doubtful whether all debts will be honored but, a budget for serving interest payments has already been allocated. The amount comprises one-third of the proposed 2006 national budget which sums up to some P1.05-trillion.

According to Secretary Ignacio Bunye, Presidential Spokesperson, a responsible borrower has the obligation to pay his debt. He added that we must pay our present and past obligations so as not to receive penalties that will severely affect the Philippine economy.

As of now, the government is indebted to its foreign creditors amounting to some P3.87 trillion as of April this year.

Secretary Bunye added that the combined weight of rising oil prices and our debt payments play a heavy strain on the resources of the Philippine government.

“The government and the poor are the hardest hit. We need to get the fullest value of every peso we spend so that we can help poor families cope with inflation, maintain essential lifeline services and push the economy up to fill in more jobs” he said.

Furthermore, he said that the longer our political turmoil last, the deeper the hurt that is inflicted upon the public.

This is the time for our nation to act decisively on an issue of economic survival and the time to act is now. A common stand will enable us to keep our fiscal house in order, he added.

“The government will continue to honor its debts to international creditors as it gave assurance that the future generation of the country will no longer be burdened by foreign fiscal obligation. We will spare our children from suffering in this burden by raising revenues now from our own resources”, Secretary Bunye further said. (PIA-Biliran)