Priorities under Economics & Finance

Article excerpt

Under the internal process perspective, the President already recognized the constraints of public finance. It was this recognition that led him to propose the priority of "public-private partnerships" to help lift the public finance constraints.

The efficiency gains that he expects to obtain from the priority of a "streamlined and constituency-oriented government" should also help to cut down those constraints. But realism indicates that constraints may be lifted and reduced, but they would still be there, and they need to be faced. Thus, there is no escaping having to consider the third perspective, which is that of economics and finance.

In his Inaugural Address, President Noynoy Aquino listed four strategic priorities under this perspective.

Fund Mobilization mainly through reforms and high levels of integrity in the BIR and the Bureau of Customs was given due emphasis (I#21). This is to be complemented by efforts to ensure that "money (would not) be wasted" (S#39); that "public coffers (would not be) squandered" from a "determination to stamp out extravagance and profligacy" (S#40); that "wasteful use of government funds (would be) stopped" and "projects that are wrong (would be) eradicated" (S#41). The President sums up: "This is the point of what we call the zero-based approach in our budget... that accurately identifies the problem and gives much attention on the right solution" (S#42 and 43). In other words, fiscal prudence is to be observed, not only by focusing on one side, that of generating revenue, but also by paying attention to "plugging the holes" on the expenditure side (S#42).

Investment Promotion was already a clear priority in the Inaugural Address (I#27, 40). In the SoNA, the President connects job creation, streamlining of government processes, investments, and growth: "growth will only be possible if we streamline processes... for those who want to invest" (S#69). …