CLAIM: YouTube vlogger, who goes by the name Mimaa Alicia, published a video in May 22 bearing the catchy title “WALA NANG UTANG ANG PILIPINAS! BINAYARAN NA NI DUTERTE! KASO HINDI BINALITA NG ABS, GMA, RAPPLER” (The Philippines is debt-free! (Pres.) Duterte has paid for it! But it was not reported by ABS, GMA, Rappler).
Mimaa, whose channel started only on July 16, 2020 or less than two years, has now 102,000 subscribers and over 10 million views. On her description, she wrote “We need a strong and caring leader that will lead our country into a great nation !! Inshort we need BONG BONG MARCOS”.
In the contested video, which already generated 4,800 likes, 51,829 views, and 732 comments, she claimed that it’s a first in Philippine history when the debt is paid in full. Before President Rodrigo Roa Duterte ends his term, she said, his government paid the P300-billion debt on the country’s central bank.
She played an audio from the report made by Quiboloy-owned Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI). After which, she called on GMA, ABS (CBN) and Rappler to report on the said news and accused them as “bias” for making the Filipinos blind on Duterte’s achievements unlike SMNI, Net25, and PTV.
In the same video, Mimaa claimed that the past presidents are all “corrupt” excluding a certain “FBM”. She called “Jabnoy”, a wordplay on the late President Noynoy Aquino, as a flirt (hitad) and bald (panot) who went to hell and who made the country a mess. She also questioned Risa Hontiveros’ inclusion in the Magic 12 and accused her as one of the corrupt officials in the Philippine Senate.
The National Government (NG) has settled in May 20 the P300-billion zero-interest short-term loan extended by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
In a statement released by the Department of Finance (DoF), the repayment was made possible as the national economy has returned to its pre-pandemic state earlier than expected, and part of fulfilling the goals set by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III to unwind the pandemic-related liquidity support from the BSP before the start of the next administration.
Provisional advances is a temporary measure under Section 89 of Republic Act No.7653 or the New Central Bank Act that allows the BSP to extend short term financing to the national government in the amount of up to 20% of the latter’s average annual income in the past three years. Granting this enabled the government steady access to cash for the uninterrupted delivery of large fiscal response and recovery measures despite the lower revenue collections and disruptions to financial markets experienced throughout the last two years.
“The repayment of the P300-billion outstanding provisional advances culminates the pandemic-related financing assistance of the BSP and is part of a broader exit strategy from the accommodative policies that once helped the economy stay afloat but are no longer needed based on growing evidence that economic recovery is already firmly entrenched,” the DoF said.
While it is true that NG paid in full its outstanding P300-billion provisional advances to the BSP before its maturity in June 11, the Bureau of the Treasury in a press release on May 5 said that NG’s total outstanding debt stood at P12.68 trillion as of end-March 2022. In the month of May, P586.9 billion, or 4.8% of the total debt portfolio was added primarily due to the net issuance of government securities to both local and external lenders and the local currency depreciation against the USD.
IBON Facts and Figures said that the Duterte administration leaves behind the biggest debt burden on the Filipino people since the Marcos dictatorship. The research group pointed out that the country suffered from the biggest revenue collapse with a P281.5 billion or 9% fall in 2020 from the year before brought about by long lockdowns.
Meanwhile, the media companies accused by Mimaa as “bias”, the ABS-CBN and GMA Network, are the country’s leading and acclaimed media companies for decades, while Rappler is an online news website whose founders include Nobel Peace Prize Winner Maria Ressa and veteran journalist Cheche Lazaro.
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