MANILA—Sen. Manny Pacquiao on Wednesday expressed concern on the country's outstanding debt, which has reached to P11.97 trillion as of end-October.
While he did not name anyone, the presidential aspirant slammed the "pretentious geniuses" in government for the country's current total obligations.
"Worried po ako sa totoo lang. Dapat malaman ng taongbayan 'yung sitwasyon ng ating bansa, especially pagdating dito sa utang ng ating bansa," he told TeleRadyo's "On The Spot."
(I'm worried to be honest. The public must know the situation of our country, especially the government debt.)
"Bakit natin pinapayagan na mas malaki 'yung ginagastos natin annually kaysa kinikita ng ating gobyerno taon-taon?" he added.
(Why do we allow the government to spend more compared to what we are earning annually?)
Should he be elected president, Pacquiao said he would not allow the country's revenue income to suffer, which has led the government to a borrowing spree.
"Kaya hindi po ako talaga saludo sa mga pretentious genius diyan sa politika, sa ating gobyerno na sinasabi na matatalino sila... Sinasabi nila na bobo ako," he said.
(That's why I'm not impressed with the pretentious geniuses in politics, in our government who claimed their smart... They say I'm dumb.)
The country's debt nearly hit the P12-trillion mark at the end of October 2021, which is 19.38 percent higher than in October last year.
In 5 years and 4 months, the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte has more than doubled the country's debt from P5.95 trillion at the end of June 2016.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has said that the government expects to borrow P3 trillion this year, and P2.25 trillion next year.
The Philippines has been borrowing heavily to finance its COVID-19 response and its ambitious infrastructure program.
The country is expected to pay some of these debts beyond 2049.