PRIORITIZING RESPONSIBLE DEBT MANAGEMENT 

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Pangandaman supports PBBM’s commitment to honor taxpayers, says 2024 Budget Supports PH’s post-pandemic recovery

MANILA–Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Mina F. Pangandaman echoed President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s commitment to leave a legacy free of burdensome debt for future generations.

“We are one with the President in ensuring that we honor the taxpayers who make the national budget possible. As the President said, ‘Debt is not the kind of inheritance we want for those who will come after us. Good fiscal stewardship imposes upon us discipline not to be led into the temptation of bloating what we owe,’” Sec. Pangandaman said.

To address concerns about fiscal prudence, the Budget Secretary emphasized that the 2024 national budget shall continue to prioritize responsible debt management while supporting the country’s post-pandemic recovery, guided by our Medium-Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF).

“Our MTFF started with a very high deficit, exceeding 7 percent during the pandemic… We’re making steady progress, aiming to bring it down to 3 percent by 2028. Reducing the deficit translates to less borrowing, but responsible borrowing for productive purposes remains crucial,” the DBM Secretary said.

To further demonstrate the administration’s commitment to fiscal consolidation over the long term, Secretary Pangandaman likewise confirmed a projected decrease in the deficit from 6.1 percent in 2023 to a target of slightly above 5 percent in 2024.

“Rest assured that the DBM shall continue to ensure transparent utilization, release, and monitoring of our public funds. We remain committed to delivering on our mandate to promote sound, efficient, and effective management and utilization of government resources to achieve our country’s development goals,” Pangandamam said.

Unprogrammed Funds Only Standby Funds 

Meanwhile, the DBM maintained that unprogrammed funds are standby appropriations, distinct from the approved government fiscal program, which serve as an important tool for the government to address unforeseen expenditures and prioritize essential programs and projects.

The DBM likewise noted that unprogrammed appropriations of the 2024 budget has built-in safeguards to prevent unconstitutional spending.

They are not automatically allocated, and can only be released if several funding conditions are met, such as when the government, through the Bureau of Treasury, is able to collect excess revenue/income beyond its initial projection, or should foreign or approved financial loans/grants proceeds are realized.

The DBM also highlighted that should there be excess revenues that may trigger the availability of the unprogrammed funds, government agencies are required to submit necessary requirements before given access to the standby fund. Such conditions ensure that spending stays within legal limits.

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