Senators laud DOF for sound fiscal management
Senators have crossed party lines to commend the Department of Finance (DOF) for its competent and efficient management of state finances in the face of the massive public spending needed to mitigate the health and economic effects of the pandemic.
Senate Minority Franklin Drilon congratulated Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III for managing the country’s finances well, while Senator Christopher Lawrence Go thanked the finance chief and the “hardworking men and women of the DOF” for their diligence.
Go also said the DOF teams has “perseverance” in keeping the domestic economy afloat amid the pandemicinduced global economic downturn.
“I express my full support to the Department of Finance, headed by a very capable financial manager in Secretary Carlos 'Sonny' Dominguez as the Philippines reels from the devastating effects of the pandemic,” Go said during the recent hearing on the proposed 2021 DOF budget.
“I am sure that our country's financial policies are in a very capable hands. I am positive that we will see this crisis through and emerge stronger than ever,” Go added.
Senator Sonny Angara, who chairs the finance panel, agreed with Go and said the rest of the Senate shares Go’s sentiments “regarding the many achievements of the DOF and the other (attached) agencies.”
Before addressing his questions to Dominguez during the budget hearing, Drilon said: “First of all, let me extend my congratulations to the (Finance) secretary for managing our country's finances well in the face of all these challenges that we face today because of COVID19.”
In response, Dominguez thanked the majority and minority senators for their “appreciation of the team of the DOF and the economic managers.”
“Certainly all the heavy lifting is done by undersecretaries, the heads of attached agencies, assistant secretaries,” Dominguez said.
Dominguez said that while the DOF budget under the Duterte administration has steadily decreased since 2017, the department continued to collect recordhigh amounts of revenues to support the implementation of the government’s priority programs.
From ₱21.5 billion in 2017, the approved budget of the DOF and its attached agencies declined to ₱19.32 billion in 2018, and to a lower ₱18.89 billion in 2019.
Even with declining budget levels, Dominguez said the DOF and its attached agencies pushed through with bold reforms in tax policy and administration, which resulted to a revenue effort of 16.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) last year.
With the DOF instilling corporate discipline among government-owned companies, dividend collections from these state firms reached ₱69.2 billion last year, 35 percent higher than the 2018 level and more than double the amount collected in 2015.