Stimulus requires “medicine cabinet”, not band aid approach – Recto

Stimulus requires “medicine cabinet”, not band aid approach  – Recto

Government’s economic stimulus package “should be as big and as bold” as the problem it is addressing, as “any piecemeal approach will just be wasting money without achieving the desired goals,” Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said.

Recto said he understands apprehensions against a package “with a large budgetary footprint, more so if it will be funded in part by loans.”

“But if the economy has flatlined, then we should not be scrimping on the voltage needed to shock it back to life,” he said.

He said there are two emerging “schools of thoughts” in the government on how to fight the pandemic, revive the economy, and transition to the new normal.

“One is conservative in funding, and with a short spending period. The other is an omnibus package, multi-year in disbursement, and premised on the worst case scenario, like the absence of a vaccine,” he said.

“I would go for the second because that is the medicine cabinet approach. Lahat ng kailangan nandoon na. One arsenal of responses. Hindi ‘yung patingi-tingi,” he said.

Recto said a “one-time, big-time” pandemic response and resiliency package will spare both Malacañang and Congress from “episodic and seasonal” passage of Iaws authorizing new rounds of spending.

A comprehensive package, Recto said, “will convey the comforting message to the nation that there is a long-term response. We have to give our people hope.”

“Kung hindi komprehensibo, it creates an ad hoc mentality. If we are digging in for the long run, then we might as well hoard enough resources for the long haul,” Recto said.

Recto said “a stimulus package should be at least P1 trillion. You don’t use a fire extinguisher to fight a forest fire.”

“Yung response-recovery-resilience template is only as good as the funds that will be put into it. If joblessness has shot through the roof, if we have lost trillions in economic output, you cannot just apply a small putty to repair a cratered economy,” Recto said.

“Hindi naman ibig sabihin na kapag nandoon sa batas ang ganoong pondo ay automatic na gagastusin agad ng executive branch. In the end, the President will have to decide when to push the spending trigger, based on the law,” he said.— Source: senate.gov.ph

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