MANILA - Presidential frontrunner Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. must find a new source of funds for his economic stimulus package as he cannot rely on the 2022 national budget, a lawmaker said Monday.
Ninety-percent of the national budget has been released to agencies, including the budget for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, said Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman.
The House of Representatives is eyeing postponing the upcoming local polls in December to save funds for the stimulus bill, according to Marcos' cousin Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez.
"I am informed this has also been comprehensively released to the Comelec. We have to check with Comelec how much has been spent so far in the preparation of the village and youth elections," Lagman told ANC's Headstart.
"The democratic process in the village and youth elections should not be compromised. There is also a need to give a new mandate to overstaying barangay captains and overaged youth leaders."
However, there are "some assets of government that can be disposed of," the lawmaker said.
"I used to say the military corps camps should also be disposed and that can amount to more than a billion... The state colleges and universities have so many unused lands which can be disposed of by the government," he said.
"Possibly if lenders would be willing to lend the new administration, we can have some foreign grants and loans to be sourced. Definitely, the 2022 budget will not give any relief to the new administration, including the Comelec fund of P8.4 billion," he said.
Marcos must also formulate and announce an economic roadmap that must include addressing what remains of the pandemic and its "other possible repercussions," Lagman said.
"Also he must be able to address completely the worldwide trend of an increasing inflation rate," he added.
"Another policy would be to effectively implement the tax laws so we could realize and maximize the tax collections considering we’re having a revival of the economy."
The Marcos administration will find it hard to nab tax evaders due to "serious concerns because of the estate tax" of the presumptive president's family, Lagman said.