MANILA (July 1, 2016) — Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III called on his co-workers on the first day at his job to buckle down to doing things “a little differently, a little more creatively” at the Department of Finance (DOF) to help government reconnect with our people by making sure they benefit from high and inclusive growth under the Duterte administration.
Speaking at the formal turnover ceremony at the Marble Hall of the Ayuntamiyento Building, Bureau of the Treasury in Intramuros, Manila this morning, Dominguez said on top of striving for a stable financial management and helping develop domestic capital markets, the DOF must now work on ensuring a “sufficient revenue flow” to let the Duterte administration fund all the socio-economic programs needed “to bring progress for all.”
Dominguez said bold and creative measures, including reforming tax and customs management, have to be carried out by the DOF and its attached agencies so the Department would no longer be detached from ordinary Filipinos and instead help President Duterte deliver on his electoral vow to grow “an economy that works for our people’s betterment.”
“The Department of Finance can no longer use its fancy calculations to continue its detachment from the everyday lives and everyday Filipinos. We need to do our job a little differently, a little more creatively,” he said in his speech after the official turnover of the DOF’s leadership to him by outgoing Finance Secretary Cesar Purisma.
Also present in this morning’s program were former Prime Minister (and former Finance Minister) Cesar Virata, former Finance Secretaries Margarito Teves, Ernest Leung, and Jose Pardo, and members of Dominguez’s family.
Dominguez said he was confident that the DOF “has the talent and the commitment to eventually flesh out these general points and deliver a government capable of empathy.”
At the same time, he lauded his predecessors at the DOF for doing an excellent job managing the debt crisis and restoring fiscal discipline. “Because of that, we now find ourselves in an enviable position where the country has the luxury of investing in the many crying needs of our country today,” he said.
Dominguez said the fact that the DOF was established on March 17, 1897, or well over a month ahead of the organization of the Revolutionary Government against the Spanish colonizers on April 24 that same year, illustrates that no government is possible without a secure flow of revenues.
“No revenue flow is possible unless someone steps up to the plate to be the person everybody hates,” he said. “In this new administration, that will have to be me.”
“A major reason why our people decided to vote out the old and vote in a new administration is that certain sense that government has lost touch with our citizens. We save and refuse to spend to shore up our credit ratings — long after it has become unnecessary to do so,” he added.
“Our first responsibility (at the DOF) is to help deliver an economy that works for our people’s betterment. If we can raise taxes and feed all our people at the same instant, that will be the best of all worlds. If we cannot, then let us feed our people first,” Dominguez said.