Belmonte agrees with Bayan Muna on lack of inclusive growth
MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Feliciano Belmonte has agreed with the view of the political opposition that the Aquino administration has failed to spread the benefits of a robust economy in the last four years to majority of Filipinos.
“A lot of us are asking: Why are we not feeling the economic growth in the country? As House Speaker, I will not tolerate these present circumstances. I will make it my fight for all of us to experience this economic prosperity and not a case where only a few are becoming wealthy. That is what I want to happen,” said Belmonte in remarks during the 15th anniversary of Bayan Muna party-list at Old Balara in Quezon City on Saturday.
“If the Philippine economy is growing, Filipinos should also be then ones enjoying its rewards,” he said.
Belmonte said he shared Bayan Muna’s sentiments on the lack of inclusive growth under the Aquino administration.
“Widespread unemployment and poverty are the leading problems of the country. This cannot be erased by what this government has trumpeted as the rise in our gross domestic product,” Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said Friday in a speech in Congress.
Colmenares said this was not a “simple ‘trickle-down’ discussion,” which could be solved by the P64.7-billion conditional cash transfer program, temporary jobs and the public-private partnership program.
In order to ensure a broader distribution of wealth, Belmonte asked Colmenares and the minority bloc to form a congressional oversight committee to monitor the deployment of the annual budget.
“We are all asking what is happening to our public funds? We have read all these news about corrupt practices of the strong and powerful. We will be forming an oversight committee to check where the funds are going and ensure that the poor are getting what has been allocated for them,” he said.
Belmonte said the oversight committee, which was styled after a similar body in the US Congress, would also determine whether budget was being misused. He promised that the culprits would be punished.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.