Moreno sells economic, fiscal platforms in Pampanga visit

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San Fernando City, Pampanga (CNN Philippines, October 28)— Manila Mayor and presidential aspirant Isko Moreno said Thursday creative ways of handling government finances may help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) recover from the pandemic.

In his visit to two factories in San Fernando City, Moreno outlined his financial game plan: loans for MSMEs badly hit by the pandemic, and giving directions to local governments on how best to spend their budget allocations given the increase in internal revenue allotments in line with a Supreme Court ruling.

Called the Mandanas Ruling, the 2018 decision stated that all local governments are entitled to a share of all national taxes, not just their internal revenue allotments given by the national government. Local governments are expecting budget increases of up to 50% beginning in 2022.

Kesa magastos sa kung saan-saan lang, hihikayatin ko, sakaling maging pangulo ako, ang mga LGU na gamitin ang dagdag na kita sa maraming taon. Isanla nila ang IRA sa DBP (Development Bank of the Philippines) at maski pribadong mga banko na maraming pera ngayon dahil mahina ang loans dahil naman sa walang negosyo, para magtayo ng pabahay, iskwelahang kumpleto sa computers, at ospital,” Moreno said.

[Translation: Instead of spending this money on other things, I’d encourage LGUs to utilize their additional income. They can put their savings in the DBP and private banks that have loads of cash because loans are weak due to the decrease in livelihood, to put up housing, put computers in schools, and build hospitals.]

In a statement, Moreno’s campaign team also said that if elected president, the mayor also plans to use the added IRA to give low-interest loans to assist struggling MSMEs.

Moreno also said additional IRA proceeds will be used to target specific concerns of local governments.

"You create a menu that addresses the general population and needs. For example, with the new amount na mage-generate ng (that will be generated by the) LGU, if you create menus, then you're trying to put direction to the country's future," he said.

Moreno said will prioritize giving jobs to those affected by the pandemic, regardless of employment status.

When asked about his stand on contractualization, he answered, “That’s the least of my problem. What I want is for you to have jobs, jobs, jobs. Temporary, immediate, basta maghanap buhay ka muna, pag umuunlad na tayo balikan natin 'yung issue na ‘yun (you should be employed first, then if our lives improve we can go back to the issue). For now, we must find a way how to stimulate businesses so they can sustain jobs.”