Solons, economic team OK development blueprint for 6 years

LEADERS of the House of Representatives and economic managers on Thursday agreed to keep the macroeconomy stable and provide Filipinos adequate social services in the next six years.

Speaker Martin Romualdez made a statement following a meeting between House officials whom he led, and the Executive’s economic team led by Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno.

With Romualdez were Ways and Means committee chairman Joey Sarte Salceda, the Appropriations panel’s chairman Zaldy Co and senior vice chairperson Stella Luz Quimbo, Deputy Speaker Ralph Recto, Majority Leader Manuel Dalipe.

Diokno was joined by National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Director-General Arsenio Balisacan, and Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah Pangandaman.

According to Romualdez, lawmakers and the economic team discussed the recently adopted House Concurrent Resolution 2 supporting the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF) of the Marcos administration.

“We had a brief discussion on the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework designed by the administration of Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. The House leaders reiterated our chamber’s decision, as contained in House Concurrent Resolution No. 2, to extend full support to the six-year fiscal plan,” he said.

The House on Monday adopted, by viva voce voting, House Concurrent Resolution No. 2, a resolution supporting the 2022-2028 Medium Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF) of the National Government.

“We agree on one thing: the MTFF should be a fiscal consolidation and resource mobilization plan,” he said.

“The objective: in the short run, keep the macroeconomy stable and provide adequate social services; in the medium term, generate more jobs, quality jobs, green jobs,” Romualdez added.

“I appreciate the gesture of Finance Secretary Ben Diokno to invite the leaders of the House of Representatives to his new office,” said Romualdez, adding, “This gave us an opportunity to discuss, among others, ways on how to forge tighter coordination and smooth working relationship between the Executive and the Legislative departments.”

“Our discussion with Secretary Diokno was a fruitful one, and we hope to conduct future consultations with him in the days to come,” Romualdez said.

Quimbo has said that HCR 2, which is based on the national government’s annual spending and financing plan, should serve as a guide for Congress in preparing the annual budget.

The 2023 national budget is expected to be submitted to Congress on August 22.

“It is important that congressional initiatives are aligned with the economic recovery programs of the government. After two years of the pandemic, the country is gradually moving towards economic recovery,” she added.

For his part, Salceda, said it is critical that the legislative agenda be guided by targets contained in the 2022-2028 MTFF, with the concurrence of the House and Senate.

HCR 2 provides that the Marcos administration design the MTFF to attain short-term macrofiscal stability while still supporting economic recovery and promoting medium-term fiscal sustainability.

With this, the measure states that the proposed strategies for economic managers are 1) near-term socioeconomic agenda, which would continue to implement risk-managed interventions, and 2) medium-term socioeconomic agenda, which would create more, high-quality, and green jobs for Filipinos.