SENATOR Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara said on Tuesday that 83 percent of the P8.4 trillion needed funds for the government’s massive infrastructure program would come from foreign borrowings and not from TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion).
Angara, chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, authored the Senate version of TRAIN. He said TRAIN would fund only one-third of the required amount for the infrastructure program.
“That’s around P2.7 trillion over 5 years and that would include five packages that are going to be proposed by the Department of Finance (DoF),” he said.
“We are now dealing with package 1. The rest would be for ODA (overseas development assistance), as well as PPPs (public-private partnerships) [and]would total to around P5.6 trillion,” he said.
Angara dismissed as “exaggerated” claims by some officials from the executive department who were quoted in media as saying that the “Build, Build, Build” projects of the Duterte administration would be severely affected if the Senate failed to approve a TRAIN version closer to the approved version of the House of Representatives.
Angara made the clarification on Monday when Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino 4th interpellated him concerning reports equating revenue target for TRAIN with the funding requirement for the “Build, Build, Build” program.
“No. That is the target for infrastructure development but not all will be sourced from the TRAIN but the P8.4 trillion (budget for massive infrastructure project) includes borrowings, GAA (Gen. Appropriations Act), among others,” Angara said. BERNADETTE E. TAMAYO