Appeal to the President: Stop gov’t officials’ insatiable greed
Dear Mr. President,
As a greatly concerned Filipino citizen, I write because of an urgent need to stop the continuous plunder of our taxes and government-borrowed money.
In the last 57 years, we have seen two of our past presidents listed second and 10th most corrupt world leaders by Transparency International Global Corruption Report 2004.
The national budget deficit was P1.37 trillion in 2020, followed by another deficit of P1.67 trillion in 2021. Despite these alarming historical figures, the proposed very bloated national budget for 2023 is P5.268 trillion, higher by 4.9 percent than the P5.024 trillion in 2022. I say very bloated because the current 2022 budget is already bloated to accommodate the whims of the past administration.
House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Ralph Recto questioned the P588 billion unprogrammed appropriations in the proposed 2023 budget. In 2019, reports stated that lawmakers were to share nearly P99 billion in pork barrel, despite the Supreme Court declaring in 2013 that such allocations were unconstitutional.
Please stop the plunder (especially in the form of pork barrel, PDAF, insertions, unprogrammed appropriations, or any other creative name) of our taxes and government-borrowed money. In addition, please direct the Department of Budget and Management to use “zero-based budgeting” in preparing the national budget with detailed itemized expenses. It is not yet too late to do that now so that the proposed national budget in 2023 could be reduced by 20 to 30 percent. This is a prudent measure to match the budget with the low government revenues during this COVID-19 pandemic.
You have a golden opportunity to make history by stopping the insatiable greed of some people in the government. Doing this patriotic act will somehow assuage the feelings of the betrayed taxpayers who are paying the P13.02 trillion national government debts, or, a burden of about P112,600 on the shoulders of every Filipino.
I wish you more wisdom and the best of health during these challenging times.
Col. Hector M. Tarrazona, ret.,
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