Senate adopts resolution supporting Medium-Term Fiscal Framework

September 13, 2022 Camille P. Balagtas 126 views

THE Senate has adopted a concurrent resolution backing the national government’s 2022-2028 Medium-Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF), which calls for the alignment of all economic recovery programs and measures with legislative priorities.

With one negative vote and one abstention, the Senate on Wednesday, September 7, 2022, adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 3 introduced by Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” F. Zubiri, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, and Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III voted against CRN 3, saying the measure lacked “intelligible details” while Sen. Risa Hontiveros abstained from voting.

Sen. Sonny Angara, sponsor of the measure, pointed out it is the first time since he helmed the Committee on Finance and throughout his nearly two decades of serving the public as a legislator that a sitting administration laid out a fiscal framework to guide the decisions of lawmakers and civil servants.

“We believe there’s no argument on the need for the government to be fiscally responsible as it works to jumpstart our economic recovery. Hence, under the MTFF, while the government pursues its socioeconomic agenda, it shall also exercise fiscal discipline,” Angara said.

In a nutshell, the MTFF shall serve as the country’s blueprint specifically for fiscal deficit reduction, promotion of fiscal sustainability, and enabling robust economic growth while the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the near-term, the MTFF underscores the 8-point priority agenda that is aimed to protect the purchasing power of Filipinos and mitigating the socio-economic scarring of the pandemic on families and consumers.

These near-term 8 priorities are ensuring food security; reduce transport and logistics costs; reduce energy costs to families; tackle health concerns; strengthen social protection, which includes efforts to improve the 4Ps and expedite the implementation of the National ID System; reopen of face- to-face classes in a safe and timely manner; make the bureaucracy more efficient through digitalization; and pursue sound fiscal management through taxation reforms and better revenue allocation.

The medium-term socioeconomic agenda, on the other hand, will focus on generating greener, sustainable, and high paying jobs for Filipinos. This is possible through the promotion of the Philippines as an investment destination; improved infrastructure, enhanced by public-private partnerships; ensure energy security; enhance employability through better-quality education and training opportunities; expand and improve digital infrastructure; encourage research and development and innovation; adopting a “green” and “blue” mindset to managing the economy; and establishing liveable and sustainable communities.

The resolution provides for the review and updating of the MTFF in three years or in 2025 before the start of the 20th Congress to reflect the current economic conditions and developments.

“Whereas, there is a need to adopt a whole-of-nation approach to align all economic recovery programs and measures of the National Government (NG) with the legislative priorities…Resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring, that the legislative agenda shall be guided by targets set in the 2022-2028 Medium-Term Fiscal Framework,” the concurrent resolution read.