Senatorial candidate and Taguig City Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday filed a bill mandating all government agencies to save five percent of their budgets to raise P250 billion to fund direct financial assistance to Filipino families.
House Bill 10832 entitled the “Mandatory Savings Act of 2022” enjoins all government departments, bureaus, offices, agencies, financial institutions (GFIs), and instrumentalities, as well as government-owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs) to allocate five percent in budgetary savings by streamlining their activities and scaling down projects deemed inessential.
“Basically, it’s a legislative authority mandating a five-percent savings, then allowing the government the flexibility to use this during challenging times,” Cayetano told reporters.
The bill stated that the year 2020 saw the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) plunge by 9.5 percent and the unemployment rate went up to 17.7 percent or 7.3 million Filipinos – the highest in 15 years.
In August 2021, the country faced the fastest acceleration in the price of goods in two years at 4.9 percent inflation rate, the measure noted.
It proposes a five-percent mandatory savings to raise P250 billion “to fund assistance to our countrymen who are in dire need to recover from the adverse effects of the present pandemic.”
In order to implement this measure, the bill proposes streamlining and scaling down government activities that are “no longer essential in the delivery of public services and which may be scaled down, phased-out or abolished, subject to civil service rules and regulations.”
At the press conference, Cayetano said the P250 billion fund is “very flexible” and can be used to address the issues and concerns not just of 20 million Filipino households, but also of specific sectors, including transportation, food, healthcare for the elderly and most vulnerable, and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
“This is not a dole-out, this is actually kick starting (the) small businesses,” he said.
The bill was filed on March 31, 2022 by Cayetano together with his wife Reps. Lani Cayetano of Taguig, Luis Raymund Villafuerte, Jr. of Camarines Sur, Raneo Abu of Batangas and Dan Fernandez of Laguna.