Oliver Bugarin 5 0 0 5 min to read

Angara supports the administration’s fiscal plan for economic recovery.

The Medium-Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF), created by the economic administrators of the Marcos administration, was endorsed on Monday by Senator Sonny Angara.

Angara stated in a speech given under oath that the main goal of the MTFF is to stabilize the fiscal house in the short term without impeding attempts to kick-start the nation’s economic recovery and maintain growth in the medium run.

In that regard, he said, “the MTFF can serve as our first look at the broad policy stances that our administration wishes to adopt, which would be contained and explored further in detail in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2022-2028, which is slated to be published by the end of this year.”

Representatives of the Department of Finance (DOF) explained that the MTFF would serve as the country’s blueprint, specifically for reducing the country’s fiscal deficit, promoting fiscal sustainability, and enabling robust economic growth as the country begins its recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, during the recent meeting of the Committee on Finance, chaired by Angara, with economic managers.

Angara stated that the MTFF aims for the Philippines to achieve upper middle-income status, with each Filipino earning at least USD4,256 per year, equivalent to about PHP20,000 per month, by 2025. It also aims for a 9 percent poverty rate by 2028, a 3-percent national government deficit by 2028, and a debt-to-GDP ratio of less than 60 percent.

The MTFF “then in the near-term sets the following 8-point socioeconomic agenda for protecting the purchasing power of Filipinos and mitigating the socioeconomic scarring effects of the pandemic on families and consumers,” Angara continued, citing food security, lower transportation, and logistics costs, lower energy costs to families, health concerns, stronger social protection, reopening of face-to-face classes, digitalization, and sound fiscal management through tax reforms and other measures.

According to Angara, the MTFF also has a longer planning horizon and establishes a medium-term socioeconomic strategy with an emphasis on creating more jobs that are higher paying, better quality, and more environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Once the PDP 2022-2028 is released, he intends to have a clearer understanding of the overall strategy.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, and Senate Majority Floor Leader Joel Villanueva all co-filed Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 3 in support of the MTFF.

Angara stated that it is “more or less identical” to the resolutions that Marikina Representative Stella Quimbo, House Speaker Martin Romualdez, and Representatives Manuel Jose Libanan, Marcelino Libanan, and Joey Salceda co-authored, sponsored, and the House enacted on August 1.

The framework in the House version “specifically lays down a near-term socioeconomic agenda that will continue to implement risk-managed interventions in areas of food security, transportation and logistics, energy, fiscal management, health, education, social protection, and bureaucratic efficiency, to ensure the unhindered and adequate delivery of social services, mitigate inflation pressures, speed up economic recovery, and address economic scarring.”

The House resolution indicated that the MTFF would be subject to review and revision in three years, or in 2025, before the 20th Congress, to reflect the situation of the economy at the time.

The MTFF will guide the nation back to a high-growth trajectory, according to prior statements from the DOF.

In two organizational briefings before the corresponding Committees on Ways and Means of the Senate and the House of Representatives, DOF Secretary Benjamin Diokno stated, “We will work for the passage of the remaining tax reform packages of the Duterte administration, along with other key policy measures that would help accelerate our [economic] recovery.”

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