ASIDE from a host of problems, President Benigno Aquino III will leave the next president P6.4 trillion in outstanding debt, P4.16 trillion of which was borrowed during his term, the Freedom from Debt Coalition said Friday.
At a news conference, FDC president Dr. Eduardo Tadem said Aquino has even eclipsed former President Gloria Arroyo as the biggest borrower among the country’s presidents from 1986 to the present.
“Divided among the projected 103 million population, each Filipino now owes a sum of P62,235.26, plus P4,251 in government-guaranteed debts,” Tadem said.
According to World Bank data, the Philippines had a debt of $66,383,249,000 in 2011 which steadily ballooned to $69,874,337,000 in 2012, $66,870,514,000 in 2013 and $77,658,912,000 in 2014.
Since 1986, Philippine presidents have merely continued such dependence on debt and non-prioritization of the welfare of the people because of blind adherence to the prescriptions of multilateral financial institutions, Tadem said.
Tadem said Aquino is the “biggest loan addict” and Filipinos should “rise up and stage an electoral insurgency against debt and its role in perpetuating poverty and inequality.”
Noted economist Walden Bello, who served as congressional representative of the Akbayan party-list and is now seeking a Senate seat, said it is criminal that debt payments should get the first cut in the national budget even before funds are appropriated for social and economic services.
“This vicious cycle of debt and ballooning social debt will continue as long as the government resorts to new borrowings to pay for old loans, including those tainted with fraud and corruption, and with existence of the law on automatic appropriations for debt servicing,” he raised.
For 30 years from 1986 to 2015, the continued implementation of the policy on automatic appropriations for debt servicing has resulted in an average of 27.21 percent of the annual public revenues automatically earmarked for interest payments.
Principal amortization, on the other hand, has eaten up an average of 67.61 percent of government’s new borrowings, he said.