PH ‘hefty’ debt a burden to the next administration, Drilon says

“These are very difficult challenges for the next administration… this hefty debt as a result of the pandemic is a challenge,” Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon says

6/17/2021 12:24:00 AM

“These are very difficult challenges for the next administration… this hefty debt as a result of the pandemic is a challenge,” Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon says

“These are very difficult challenges for the next administration… this hefty debt as a result of the pandemic is a challenge,” Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon says

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 17) —The Philippine government’s huge debt will be one of the big pandemic-triggered challenges the next administration will face, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said.“This is a burden to the next administration… We have this hefty debt,” Drilon said in a statement. “These are very difficult challenges for the next administration… this hefty debt as a result of the pandemic is a challenge.”

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He also expects this to continue to increase as the Duterte administration resorts to borrow more to fund its COVID-19 pandemic programs, given that the Philippine economy is also still in a recession and collections remain low.According to the Bureau of Treasury, the country’s outstanding loans jumped 27.8% to ₱10.99 trillion in April 2021 as the government borrowed more from domestic and foreign banks and other sources to fund its pandemic response.

This is also ₱217.49 billion higher than March’s figure, bringing April’s figure to a fresh high.Earlier,Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez IIIsaid the current debt level is “high,” but assured that this is still sustainable and can be managed in the future. headtopics.com

The senator also scored the slow pace of the vaccination program in the country, adding that it's not easy to say when herd immunity will be achieved.Latest data show that more than 1.8 million Filipinos have received two doses of COVID-19 jabs. Note that the government targets to immunize 50% to 60% of the population this year, focusing more on Metro Manila, to reach immediate protection, but it still hopes to attain the initial 70% target once vaccine supply stabilizes.

With an economic contraction of 4.2% for the first quarter of 2021 and an unemployment rate of 8.7%, Drilon said the “the economy is paying a hefty price to arrest the COVID-19 pandemic," which was mainly due to the mismanagement of the Department of Health.

Drilon also called the economic team’s projection that the domestic economy will recover starting second quarter of 2022 a"pipe dream".“Even with the election spending in 2022, I don’t think we would be on the road to recovery by the second quarter of 2022. To say that we will be going back to the 2019 economic level by the second quarter of 2022 is a pipe dream,” he said.

Read more: CNN Philippines »

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