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PIA Press Release

PGMA hopes to overturn budget deficits by 2006

By Cathy Apelacio

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (26 August) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is full of confidence the P1.05-trillion national budget for 2006 she proposed to Congress on Wednesday will overturn budget deficit to P124.9 billion from this year's target of P180 billion.

She is also convinced that it will cushion the country from experiencing further economic downfall and social distress.

The President submitted the 2006 budget believing that it is vital to the realization of her goals "in uplifting the lives of the people through better infrastructure, quality education, law and order and social services that would attract investors and create more jobs."

Arroyo also believed the proposed budget would make a "strategic weapon" against the looming oil crisis and poverty, which are global concerns.

The President is the first to have hit the proposed trillion-peso mark national budget. But Arroyo is positive the Congress will consider it since the objective is to address the priority needs of the people, which is more than nobler and greater than the cost.

Malacañang said the projected budget is "14.7 percent higher than the current year's P918.6 billion and accounts for 17.6 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP)."

Of the P1.05-trillion budget, the biggest slice would go to the payment of the country's past and present dues that have been "acquired from a chain of borrowings dating back to past administrations."

"We intend to spare our children from suffering the burden of these obligations by raising revenues now from our own resources and by minimizing our resort to additional borrowings," Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye Jr., said in a statement.

He added the Philippines must pay its past and present obligations otherwise it will "face severe economic sanctions" that will only mess up the economy.

The next biggest bulk, under the proposal, went to social services with P293 billion followed by economic services with P197.2 billion.

Malacañang is also convinced it could attain its target by meeting its prospects such as the 23.7 percent revenue expansion; the 6.1 percent perceived stronger economic growth; and the 11 percent robust growth in exports by next year.

Lashing back at President's critics, Bunye pointed out Filipinos should instead concentrate on how to move the country forward by helping the government solve the problems of the nation. (CTA/PIA-SarGen) [top]

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