2023 BUDGET. Senator Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, presides over a briefing by the Development Budget Coordination Committee on the Proposed 2023 National Expenditure Program in the Senate on Wednesday (Sept. 14, 2022). Senators Joel Villanueva and Alan Peter Cayetano (inset) posed questions to Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno and other economic managers during the briefing. (PNA photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA - Senator Sonny Angara said on Saturday almost 90 percent of the proposed 2023 National Budget will be spent on government projects and only around 11 percent will be used in paying for loan interests.

The lawmaker said this is lower than in the ‘80s and ‘90s when the Philippine government allotted 25 to 30 percent of the national budget to pay for loan interests.

Angara, who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance, also said out of the PHP5.2 trillion proposed 2023 budget, almost 70 percent will be sourced out from tax collections and more than 20 percent will be coming from international loans.

He also dismissed assumptions that these loans will have negative effects on the financial status of the country.

"Hindi dapat maalarma ang ating mga kababayan sapagkat taun-taon umuutang naman tayo talaga. Mula noon pa, ilang dekada na po ang nakaraan. Ang importante po yung inuutang dapat nilalagay sa makabuluhang mga proyekto at programa na talagang makakatulong sa ating mga kababayan (Our people should not be alarmed because we are actually borrowing money every year. Since then, several decades ago. The important thing is that the borrowed money should all be allotted in significant projects and programs that would really help our countrymen)," Angara said in an interview with DWIZ.

He said the loans will be spent on education, health, and other government programs that are considered "human capital investment."

"Dahil (Because) we have a young population, so makikinabang po yan. Pagtanda po nila, yung ating (they will benefit from it. When they age, our) human investment capital ay magpe-pay-off po yan. Doon tayo kikita sa paglago ng ating mga mamamayan at mas intelehenteng populasyon (will pay-off. We will earn from the development of our people and more intelligent population)," Angara said.

The Senate Committee on Finance recently concluded a series of briefings with the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) which has already submitted the 2023 National Expenditure Program (NEP).

The DBCC is composed of the Departments of Finance, Budget and Management, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, National Economic Development Authority, and the Office of the President.

After being scrutinized, the 2023 NEP will become the 2023 General Appropriations Bill, which will be brought to the plenary and ratified by both the Senate and the House of Representatives to become the General Appropriations Act of 2023. (PNA)