Letters to the Editor

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The Philippine Star

Everyone wants a bigger piece of the pie. The needs are many, and all very real.

It is generally agreed that education should get a big – bigger – share of the national budget, especially now that in-person classes are set to resume, which means schools have to be ready to safely – safe from the virus – welcome back students and teachers, which means money to retrofit schools. And of course there is always the problem of shortage of classrooms.

Teachers, who have a much heavier load with blended learning, teaching some students in person and others online, should have correspondingly heftier pay – hopefully.

Also in a dismal state is agriculture, with farmers, fisherfolk and poultry and hog raisers facing multiple whammies of high cost of inputs (fertilizers, feeds), high cost of fuel (to transport their produce to market) and in some cases disease (ASF, bird flu). How much will be needed to prop up and revitalize the agriculture industry? Maybe some of the $15.71 billion spent to import foodstuff (benefitting farmers abroad) last year could have gone to help our agri workers increase their production. The mandate now to increase production is spot on, but that entails a lot of help for those who produce our food.

Defense said they need more money too, to beef up our capabilities to defend our territories and our sovereignty in the face of continued external aggression and threats.

Then there are the calls for continued subsidies and cash grants for sectors affected by the pandemic and rising prices – and wow, that’s about almost everyone (except for the 1% right?).

So where to get the money for all that? Everyone wants a bigger piece of the pie; unfortunately, our national pie can’t grow as much as the people want. Let’s see how the 2023 budget shapes up when it is submitted. – Idelfonso Ramos, Malabon



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