Free college tuition in State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and free irrigation for farmers are two of the many other challenges facing the administration because these programs entail tens of billions of pesos. The President’s signing of these two laws demonstrates his commitment to realize his campaign promise of inclusive growth. These two expensive programs are just among the several new policies of the administration aimed at easing the lives of Filipinos especially the poor. In order to deliver these promises, the government’s 2018 budget reached P3.8 trillion which is 12.4% higher than the 2017 budget of P3.35 trillion. Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella defended the hugeness of the budget describing it as “a budget that reforms and transforms”. The biggest chunk of the budget is allocated to education and infrastructure development to fund the administration’s ambitious program of “Build Build Build.”
How would government raise such huge budget? Not a problem according to the Department of Budget and Management because of key mechanisms now on the pipeline like the speedy approval by the Senate and subsequent passage by Congress of the proposed Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act or TRAIN. It’s urgent because it’s an important vehicle to accomplish all the expensive promises of the President. No doubt the proposed tax scheme will be signed by the President soon to fulfill all his promises.
But TRAIN is not enough. The administration is exhausting all means to raise plenty of money to finance those programs. For instance, sourcing money from underperforming departments or cost cutting measures by doing away with junket seminars and trainings both in and outside the country and other allocations for not so important activities. Adding to this, the administration is stiffly on guard against corrupt people in government who are robbing government’s coffers of huge amounts into their pockets. All these programs and fund raising schemes require hard work and dedication and no monkey business. Thus, all men and women under this administration should work overtime to achieve these most challenging programs.