Next Budget chief: Revisit assumptions by outgoing econ team, align with Marcos admin's goals

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 7) — Incoming economic managers should revisit assumptions made by outgoing officials to make sure these ones are aligned with the Marcos administration's major goals, the next Budget chief pointed out.

"We should revisit siguro po (maybe) the assumptions made by the outgoing DBCC [Development Budget Coordination Committee ] members," incoming Department of Budget and Management Secretary Amenah Pangandaman told CNN Philippines' The Final Word.

This she responded when asked if her hands are tied with the ₱5.268 trillion budget cap for 2023 for prudent fiscal management, which was earlier mentioned by DBM officer-in-charge Tina Canda. 

Pangandaman said the new economic team has yet to come up with exact figures, but these will be anchored on three major goals of the Marcos administration.

"First is to lower the deficit to 3% of GDP. Second is really to achieve the upper middle income country. And then lastly is to reduce the poverty incidents to single digits," she enumerated, stressing that the next government's programs and projects should also lean towards these goals.

Pangandaman said they will convene again in the first week of July after the inauguration of President-elect Bongbong Marcos to discuss these concerns.

Cabinet secretaries will then resubmit budget proposals considering the priorities and programs of the new administration, she added.

Last week, the incoming Budget chief listed down Marcos' eight focus areas that aim to add fuel to his economic reconstruction target. She also noted she is aiming for a budget plan that would "promote a broad-based and inclusive economic recovery and growth." 

To also ensure that public funds will be used wisely annually, Pangandaman said there is a need for fiscal discipline and proper planning to ensure that programs are implemented. The government she emphasized should also utilize technology and digitalization in its processes for transparency.

With very little wiggle room in the 2023 budget, Pangandaman could only project enough fiscal space by 2024 to provide for other priority programs of the Marcos leadership.