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Legarda Supports ‘Budget for Real Change’

August 30, 2016

Senator Loren Legarda today expressed support to the administration’s major thrusts in the national budget and said that the Senate will work on ensuring that the people’s money will flow back to them through programs that are beneficial to all.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, made the statement during the briefing by Development Budget Coordinating Committee (DBCC) on the proposed 2017 national government budget worth P3.35 Trillion.

“The Senate, particularly the Committee on Finance, will work closely with the country’s economic managers and all our government agencies, and consider our constituents’ concerns to ensure that the national budget for 2017 will indeed be ‘a budget for real change’,” Legarda said.

“We support the administration’s main thrusts to prioritize and improve education, ensure that more citizens have access to quality and efficient social services, and increase public spending in terms of infrastructure,” she added.

Legarda said the Committee on Finance will closely review the budget of each agency and further suggest how the government’s programs can be improved.

Among the issues raised was how the government, particularly the Department of Health (DOH) and PhilHealth, can work on improving public health care access especially for indigent Filipinos so that it covers all poor citizens not only for hospitalization expenses but also outpatient care and medicines.

The Committee also discussed that the government must closely monitor the compliance of banks and lending institutions in providing loans to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as stated under the Magna Carta for MSMEs (R.A. 9501), and to the agriculture sector and agrarian reform beneficiaries as stated under the Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act (R.A. 10000).

The Senator added that the Committee will also scrutinize lump-sums in the budget to prevent it from being a source of corruption and misuse of funds.

“We also want to make sure that the national budget is attuned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are global aims to end poverty and hunger, improve health and education, make cities more sustainable, combat climate change, promote peace and justice for all, and protect the environment and biodiversity, among many others,” said Legarda.