Fetalvero: Connecting the debt dots

Noemi Fetalvero
·2 min read

PHILIPPINE senator and actor Bong Revilla’s admission that he shivered during his kissing scene with Sanya Lopez in the taping of upcoming teleserye “Agimat Ng Agila” was insensitive.

I expected the senator/actor to discuss how to stop the speed of the transmission of the virus, and how to improve our economy amid the country’s indebtedness.

The Philippines’ total indebtedness has amounted to P641 billion payable until 2049. Four Presidents will face the consequence of such huge debt. We pray that there will be no more pandemics to come.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez revealed this during the First Manila Forum for China-Philippines Relations held early this month. He likewise disclosed that our country borrowed for vaccine procurement P62.5 billion from multilateral financing institutions including the Asian Development Bank, the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and The World Bank.

In order to cope with the country’s indebtedness, the Board of Investments’s (BOI) approved investments rose to 156 percent in the first two months of the year, reaching P121.93 billion. Among the reforms being pushed by the BOI is the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act – CREATE bill. Could this be the reason why the government is in such a hurry to open more businesses?

CREATE would make the Philippines a more attractive destination for investments “by allowing a qualified investments package for a maximum of 17 years, removing export and nationality bias and giving the President flexibility in granting incentives for highly desirable projects. CREATE would reduce the corporate income tax to 25 percent from 30 percent.”

When I was little, I would patiently wait for my grandpa to be done reading the newspaper. I just enjoyed the page that contains the “connect the dots” featured in the magazine section of the national daily. As I matured, I applied the same concept (connecting the facts and issues at hand) in order to get the entire agenda.

Some members of Congress are itching to amend the economic provisions of our constitution. BOI supports amendments to laws like the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, the Foreign Investment Act and the Public Services Act.

In my next article, I will tackle how the above-mentioned economic measures will affect and benefit the “haves” and the “have nots” as Ray Dalio, one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs, presents his “Template for Understanding Big Debt Crises.”