ABS-CBN News : Marcos shuns sale of gov't assets to raise funds

By Katrina Domingo | ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Incoming President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Monday said he was not in favor of selling government assets to generate funds for his administration, which is expected to address post-pandemic issues especially in the health, labor and business sectors.

"I'm always very wary of selling government assets. As a matter of principle, I'd rather not," he told reporters, when asked if he was willing to liquidate non-performing government buildings and assets.

Marcos, the son and namesake of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. whose administration spent billions on government buildings and structures, did not elaborate why he was hesitant to sell public assets.

House Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, Marcos Jr's cousin, recently said lawmakers planned to pass a measure that would postpone the barangay elections in December to save funds for a stimulus bill named after the incoming president's initials.

But the Institute for Leadership, Empowerment, and Democracy said the proposed "Bangon Bayan Muli" (BBM) stimulus bill would not be enough to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There's really more questions than answers with respect to the BBM or the Bayan Bangon Muli bill because there's still no details with respect to what programs will be included in this project. Which sectors will be prioritized? How much the total budget for this will be?" she told ANC's "Rundown".

Marcos Jr. said his administration would have to look at the 2023 national budget "to find sufficient funds for the things we want."

"Basically move some public expenditure away from non-investment expenditures to more investment-led expenditures to revitalize, to retool the economy," he said.

This year's national budget could also fund the proposed stimulus package, he said.

"There are slight differences. Although it has been disbursed, not all of it has been spent," Marcos said.

"So mayroon pa tayong breathing room pero kaunti na lang."

(We still have breathing room, though just little.)