Community Whispers by Ray Junia
Community Whispers

What’s behind missed budget priorities?

Sep 14, 2021, 1:35 AM
Ray L. Junia

Ray L. Junia

Publisher

IN 2022, the government projects to spend P5 trillion. And we are supposed to be happy, the economy will get better primed by government spending.

If you’re celebrating, hold back, for the spending distribution does not support expectation of better economy.

In fact, the government has set aside only a tiny sum of P3.35 billion for assistance to micro, small and medium enterprises, that sector of business that employs 63% of the country’s workforce.

Tiny sum, because the budget to fight insurgency is at P28 billion, to be managed by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

The 2022 budget proposed by the executive department is undergoing review by the Senate. The proposed 2022 national budget is too messed up beginning with its sense of priority.

Budget for health and social services has taken a back seat as the government is intent on focusing resources on military and intelligence operations.

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Talks in coffee shops speculate on the implications of this focus to intelligence and military.

The biggest threat to the country is not insurgency as the local communists themselves are deeply damaged by the pandemic.

Common sense dictates that priority is to contain the pandemic so the economy starts to grind, even slowly.

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It is common knowledge and generally accepted that the President is surrounded by light weights in his economic team.

Imagine, NEDA predicting an economic recovery to pre-pandemic time by the end of 2022.

You don’t have to be a genius to know that this projection is more of a dream and is completely detached from reality.

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The new DBM acting secretary is better in telling the truth.

She recognizes weaknesses of the spending program, admitting to worsened pandemic situation that has made the NEP irrelevant that needs drastic changes.

But the disturbing speculation on the “missed” funding on real priorities is, this is deliberate.

So if it is deliberate and part of a plan, what is the plan?

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The government has cut down budget for frontline health workers in favor of intelligence officers in the armed forces.

This is very sad. Doctors have stopped volunteer work in public hospitals. This is also very sad.

Most sad was when Presidential Spox Harry Roque opened his mouth.

Now every frontliner is intending to turn over his PPE to the spox and leave.

The “great” spox can prove his sincerity to the Filipino people.

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Talking of doctors, overheard in the park, a little boy was asking his Lolo, an oversized lawyer, what is the PhD after your name? The Lolo answered, it stands for Physically Deficient, because Lolo can’t walk anymore from obesity.

“What is the MD after the name of our doctor neighbor?” The boy followed up. “It means Mentally Deficient,” the very arrogant Lolo explained.

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This oversized lawyer who has very low regard to health workers and even medical doctors should avoid getting sick.

There is a good chance he will get his wish and have a mentally deficient person attending to him.


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