MALACAÑANG on Monday dismissed as nothing new the open letter of former finance executives urging President Arroyo to impose emergency measures that will stem the country’s fiscal problems.
Communications Director Silvestre Afable said that even before the letter was published, the government had been consulting with members of the House of Representatives on how best to tackle the fiscal problem.
The former finance executives, in their open letter to the President, suggested that raising some taxes, imposing a 3-percent surcharge on imports and withholding about 10 percent of revenue allotted to local governments would help the country get out of the rut.
“These measures are already being studied by the government since before [the letter came out] and [the measures] are being subject to consultations with Congress so that a comprehensive revenue program can be pushed forward,” Afable said.
With regards to the proposed 10-percent reduction of the local government’s internal revenue allotment, Afable said there is no need to ask the local government units to make a contribution to resolving the fiscal problem.
“They [local executives] are willing to take this deferment while they try to influence the legislative process and try to persuade their friends in Congress to pass the revenue programs of the President,” Afable said.
Ma. Theresa Torres