August 30, 2021
The Duterte administration’s proposed 2022 budget once again refuses to give the ayuda that millions of Filipinos need to alleviate the economic distress from lockdown-induced disruptions to livelihoods. COVID-19-related emergency assistance programs have been discontinued. There is some additional funding for existing social welfare programs but this falls far short of huge needs since the pandemic.
August 26, 2021
The Development Budget Coordination Committee has had a poor record of projecting economic growth in the last five years with their estimates always off the mark. Worse, their narrow-minded fiscal conservatism is the biggest factor preventing more rapid recovery.
August 26, 2021
The proposed 2022 national budget is perplexingly business-as-usual with the same priorities as before the pandemic. There is still disproportionate attention to infrastructure, the military and police, and debt service with only marginal changes to the health and social protection budgets. This latest spending plan should not just be scrutinized but also retailored to give due attention to urgent medical and economic responses.
August 23, 2021
Government’s proposed 2022 national budget is the second budget in a row that fails to respond to the pandemic. The Duterte administration is not spending enough on economic stimulus, health, ayuda, and small businesses which are the most important things to recover quickly and stop worsening deprivation. The economic managers’ misguided fiscal conservatism is counterproductive and needs urgent correction.
August 21, 2021
The government has just announced the transition from ECQ to modified ECQ so the economy can supposedly recover. But the Duterte administration’s over-reliance on destructive lockdowns without effective and substantial health and economic response, like much-needed ayuda, is what’s really worsening the crisis and pushing more Filipinos into poverty.
August 20, 2021
The government has announced the easing of community quarantines. But new cases are still rising and there are no signs of government taking additional measures to fix the health system during the last two weeks of stricter lockdowns. If the health system is as weak as ever, what’s our way out of the pandemic?
August 17, 2021
Ayuda helped mitigate the unemployment shock in April last year but this dropped to just token amounts afterwards despite millions still being unemployed and in desperate need of assistance. Poor pandemic response just made things even worse.
August 14, 2021
The Duterte administration can use revenue generated by its regressive TRAIN law to fund emergency cash assistance. TRAIN’s new taxes increased the prices for goods and services consumed by the majority poor Filipinos even amid the pandemic and the revenues can be used productively while the law remains.
August 11, 2021
The pandemic hit everyone, but the Philippines could have responded at least as well as other countries in the region.