Pacquiao vows to end Corruption behind country’s sluggish economy

Presidential candidate Sen. Manny Pacquiao blamed “systemic corruption” and wrong fiscal policies such as the government’s dependence on tax revenues and external borrowings as the primary cause of the country’s sluggish economy and looming debt crisis.

“Isa sa dahilan kung bakit nahuli ang ating ekonomiya ay dahil sa korapsyon. Korapsyon ang pinakadahilan ng lahat ng ating paghihirap,” said Pacquiao during a speaking engagement before Philippine Christian University (PCU) officials on Friday.

“Iyan ang nagbigay sa akin ng lakas ng loob para tumakbo sa pagka-Pangulo, para ipakulong ang mga kawatan sa gobyerno.”

(One of the reasons our economy is failing is corruption. Corruption is the main reason for our poverty. That’s what motivates me to run for {resident, to jail the corrupt.)

For next year, Pacquiao said the Duterte administration is asking for a P5.024-trillion budget while the government revenues further slid down to a little more than P2.5 trillion.

“Bakit pinapayagan nila na mas malaki ang ginagastos ng bansa kesa ating kinikita? Kaya ang nangyayari sa atin nababaon tayo sa utang dahil sa ganitong sistema. Iyan ang kailangan nating gamutin. Iyan ang kailangan nating solusyunan dahil kapag nabaon tayo ng husto sa utang baka wala nang magpautang sa atin,” Pacquiao said. 

(Why do they allow the country to incur more expenses than earnings? We are mired in debts because of the same system. That’s what we have to solve, because nobody will grant us loans if were incapable of paying our debts.)

Pacquiao said this is why the government will have to increase non-tax revenues by maximizing the economic potential of all government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) to offset the government’s budget deficit.

He said that the government can potentially generate P5 trillion a year had the previous governments did not privatize three key utility assets which are power, water and telecommunications.

The revenues that can be generated from GOCCs in these three key areas are enough to cover the country’s budget requirement without resorting to high-interest loans, Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao also pushed for the lowering of corporate and personal income taxes to create a favorable business climate and boost domestic consumption.