“Pass the bill repealing the automatic appropriation of debt payment”

WITH the government facing more than 11 trillion pesos, a list group has renewed its calls for a measure to repeal automatic credits for debt service.

Bayan Muna representative Ferdinand R. Gaite called on the palace to seriously study and prioritize House Bill (HB) 4087, or the “Repeal Automatic Appropriation for Debt Service” bill. HB 4087 will amend Article 31 of Presidential Decree 1177 or the 1977 Budget Reform Decree issued by the Marcos administration.

According to Gaite, the decree was issued to “appease international credit institutions which provide for automatic appropriation for the service of the public debt”.

The measure will also amend Article 26, Chapter 4, Book VI of Executive Decree 292, otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987, which reiterates in full Article 31 of RFP 1177.

“With the Philippines now the World Bank’s biggest borrower, it would be better if the Duterte administration reconsidered its priorities and repealed the Marcos-era automatic debt service law,” Gaite said. “Otherwise, less and less of the national budget would go to basic and social services for Filipinos. “

Remedy for the fault

Legislator added that the bill, “if enacted,” will remedy a longstanding flaw in the government’s fiscal policy – the indiscriminate payment of all public debts, including bad loans, regardless. the serious misappropriation of basic services finances ”.

Gaite added that the bill affirms and affirms the state’s obligation under Article II, section 9 of the 1987 Constitution to promote a just social order through policies that provide adequate social services. .

The legislator further stated that the passage of the bill also sought to pave the way for a more “rational and humane” budget process.

“It seeks to bring in hundreds of billions of pesos each year allocated to service the debt and instead redirected for the benefit of the people,” Gaite said. “The government can then begin to prioritize badly needed social services. “

At the end of September, the national government’s outstanding debt reached a new high of 11.920 billion pesos, according to the lawmaker.


Gaité also qualifies as “unfair” the automatic appropriation of debt service to the detriment of basic services.

“It prevails over the prerogative of the people by giving absolute and unchallenged priority to servicing the debt and by placing a large part of the national budget outside normal budgetary processes. This has led economic policy to systematically favor the narrow interests of private creditors and companies over the needs of the population, ”he added.

Bayan Muna said in the bill that since 1986, the cumulative debt service consumes almost a third of the national government’s annual budget. The group said the need to repeal the automatic appropriation law for debt service has become more urgent as public debt has become an albatross for the nation. “The large share of debt servicing in the national budget has exacerbated the government’s growing neglect of social services since 1997. The budgets for education, health and social protection remain insufficient while a large part of the people’s taxes is allocated to the payment of the debt, ”the party said. list group added.

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John A. Bogar

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