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Dominguez offers Sen. Marcos ‘special economic briefing’

By CHINO S. LEYCO

Following a controversial clash during a virtual Senate hearing last week, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III offered Senator Imee Marcos “a special briefing” about the Philippine economy.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III

In an attempt to path up their differences, Dominguez formally wrote Marcos a letter last May 26, offering the lawmaker a special briefing on the economy to be conducted by a senior official of President Duterte’s Economic Development Cluster (EDC).

Dominguez said his offer aims to clarify the concerns Marcos raised during a recent Senate virtual hearing on the government’s ongoing efforts to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

To recall, Marcos asked President Duterte’s chief economic manager about the proposed P130 billion to P160 billion stimulus package for businesses and other sectors affected by the virus crisis.

Among the questions raised by the lady senator were about access of farmers to affordable credit facilities in this time of crisis, the budget deficit, and the country’s debt-to-gross domestic product ratio, among other concerns.

The finance chief said that as chairman of the EDC, he acknowledged the concerns raised by Marcos on the government’s program aimed at weathering the devastation wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I acknowledge the questions and concerns you raised regarding the Philippine economy during the Senate Committee of the Whole Hearing on the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic last May 20, 2020,” Dominguez’s letter read.

“To clarify concerns you and the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs may have on the national economy, particularly on the national accounts, I would like to offer a special briefing to be conducted by a senior official from the EDC at your earliest convenience,” the letter added.

Dominguez, however, assured Marcos that the Cluster is “studying the points” she had raised during the hearing.

During the same virtual briefing last week, Dominguez and Marcos also had a brief verbal exchange about the “success” of Masagana 99.

Marcos proposed during the hearing that maybe Dominguez may consider the program initiated by her father, the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos, touted Masagana 99. She claimed that the program successfully revived the local rice sector.

But Dominguez rejected the claim by Marcos that the program of her father was a success, noting he was the one who cleaned up mess left by Masagana 99, which bankrupted 800 rural banks.

Dominguez had served as agriculture secretary of President Corazon Aquino, who succeeded Marcos’ late father.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://business.mb.com.ph/2020/05/27/dominguez-offers-sen-marcos-special-economic-briefing/)

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