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As the embattled Philippine government imposes lockdowns and mass-purchases equipment for the medical frontiers. So does their ever increasing reliance on foreign loans to supplement the budget deficit.
The said loans to finance the COVID-19 response that flowed during the first full month of lockdown, the national government’s gross borrowings in April surged by 593 percent year-on-year to P262.7 billion which ultimately worsened our fiscal responsibilities of total foreign debt to around 8.6 Trillion Pesos!
In a statement, the Treasury said it adjusted the domestic debt figure in March to add the P300 billion that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) released under a bond repurchase agreement.
National Treasurer Rosalia V. de Leon said the program loans in April included the Asian Development Bank’s P50.8-billion COVID-19 active response and expenditure support program and P3.9-billion emergency assistance for reconstruction and development of Greater Marawi as well as the World Bank’s P25.2-billion loan also for COVID-19 response and P10.1-billion social welfare development and reform project.
But as the amount of money flows through government-agencies like milk and honey. So does the greedy corrupt politicians and Duterte appointees in a over-spending spree.
One to note for is, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III – The current Duterte appointed health secretary who, has since been accused of over-spending on DOH testing kits with over P16 billion by pricing that each of the item be 8k each when in fact they should roughly be around 3k to 4k each
Just imagine the amount of money Duque can get out of this? That could be billions of pesos and while the rest of the Philippine populace is starving to death from lack of government support.
While the media is pre-occupied and much the masses were shocked at the scale of this corruption scandal. The President himself openly defends his appointed health secretary and lashes out at his critics, branding them as terrorists.
We all know for a fact that the President has since weaponized the newly amended Anti Terror Law to arrest anti-government bloggers, critics and members of the opposition who dared criticized him or his corrupt appointees.
Treasury data showed that the last time the Philippines had a debt-to-GDP ratio above 50 percent was in 2010, at 50.2 percent.
The debt metric reflecting a country’s ability to pay its obligations had gone down the past few years and fell to a low of 39.6 percent last year.
As all of these are happening, P2.2 trillion in losses: Cost of COVID-19 impact on PH economy
A lot of small to medium businesses have not been operating and is losing the much needed revenues putting them in a very serious fiscal situation. This in turn could result in mass closures and bankruptcy filings should the government fail to bail them out.
With just that numbers alone, it’s highly unlikely if we could ever pay back with all those loans. The economic situation in the Philippines continues to deteriorates by the hour while the rest of the populace is bracing for massive food-shortages due to lenghtened lockdowns with no end in sight.