RP had lowest debt-to-GDP ratio under President Arroyo

January 8, 2010 10:46 pm 

MANILA, Jan. 8 — Malacañang said on Friday the country had, on record, the lowest debt-to-GDP (gross domestic product) ratio under the Arroyo administration. And the debts, moreover, were incurred and restructured by previous administrations for the most part.

In his first media briefing for the year, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde belied the criticism of former Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno that the Arroyo administration has incurred the highest debt record.

“First, we have inherited the great bulk of this debt from previous administrations, which have only been restructured so this is not necessarily new borrowings," Remonde said.

“Secondly, this administration holds the record of having the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio. Better than just looking at absolute figures, the best indicator is the debt-to-GDP ratio,” he clarified.

Remonde stood by an earlier pronouncement of Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Gary Olivar that President Arroyo built the most number of roads and bridges in her entire nine-year term than her three predecessors combined. “And this is not bragging because it is true,” Remonde said.

On Diokno’s claim that the performance record of the administration is inaccurate since it is based on a nine-year accumulated figure instead of annual computation, Remonde said Diokno is just trying to justify the shortcomings of the Estrada administration.

“It is not our fault that his administration was short-lived,” he added.

“We stand by our record of having the best performance in terms of infrastructure,” Remonde said, citing this as President Arroyo’s greatest legacy to the Filipino people. (PNA) scs/OPS/ssc

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