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Salceda sees 5 funding sources for proposed stimulus package

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star
Salceda sees 5 funding sources for proposed stimulus package
“Realignment is not the only recourse for the president-elect. I can see at least five other possible courses of action for the package to be funded adequately,” re-elected Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, chairman of the House ways and means committee, said.
Boy Santos, file

MANILA, Philippines — President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. can tap five funding sources for his proposed “Bayan Bangon Muli” stimulus package for the poor, a veteran lawmaker-economist said.

“Realignment is not the only recourse for the president-elect. I can see at least five other possible courses of action for the package to be funded adequately,” re-elected Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, chairman of the House ways and means committee, said.

These include a “cash sweep” via executive order, a “supplemental appropriations bill with unprogrammed allocations,” the use of “unused funds in Special Purpose Funds,” and adopt another Bayanihan that will place under moratorium “wasteful projects.”

Another mechanism Salceda proposed is the inclusion of a “provision that allows the President to use unused or unreleased subsidies to GOCCs (government-owned-and-controlled-corporations).”

“In any case, let’s give the new administration a chance to fund and enact its own plans and programs for the country’s economic recovery,” the veteran legislator said.

Salceda’s views, however, run contrary to that of his fellow Albay colleague, Rep. Edcel Lagman.

“Unless the new administration can find or create fresh funds, the stimulus package will be mere sloganeering and simply a change in nomenclature from the original Bayanihan,” Lagman, a human rights lawyer, said.

Lagman’s position also contradicted with Salceda about realignments, saying “unlike in Bayanihan 1 and 2, there is nothing more to be realigned in the 2022 national budget because 90 percent has already been released to departments and agencies.”

“The balance of the Special Purpose Funds are untouchable as they are mandatories like salaries, pensions, and for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Fund (NDRRMF) or the calamity fund,” the lawmaker said.

JOEY SALCEDA

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