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May 29, 2018


Breakfast with Ben

Breakfast with Ben is a weekly informal and casual discussion of Department of Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno with media to talk about the latest news on the budget, economic reforms and government policies.


May 30, 2018


8:00 AM – 8:45 AM


6F, Oakwood Joy Nostalg, ADB Avenue, Pasig City


1. National Government Disbursement Performance for April 2018
2. Budget Updates on Boracay Rehabilitation
3. Highlights from Secretary Diokno’s recent meetings with Australian Ministers

* Watch the full, unedited press conference below:

Got questions for the speakers? Send them through our social media accounts.
(Editor’s note: The starting time may change due to scheduling constraints.)
A higher resolution video of the event will be uploaded after 24 hours.



  • On the second tranche of TRAIN 2: Phase 2 is revenue neutral. It aims to make our corporate income tax competitive in the region. It will lower the corporate income tax from 30% to 25%.
  • We have the highest corporate income tax rate at 30%. If you want to attract investors, that kind of tax structure is not competitive.
  • On the second tranche of TRAIN 2: We will be rationalizing giving out fiscal incentives. Some are not time-bound and perpetual in nature. No country in the world has that kind of incentive structure. We want the incentives to be performance based, it should be transparent, and time-bound.
  • On the competitive rating: They’re looking at the rear view mirror, rather than looking forward. It is based on past performance rather than what’s happening at the moment.
  • On TRAIN 1: You cannot suspend the rules in the middle of the game. We anticipate events. Do you want us to stop creating world class infra? Do you want us to stop Kto12? Do you want us to stop the free tuition for college students?
  • Increase in wage hike: When you set a minimum wage higher than the clearing wage, where supply equals demand, you exacerbate unemployment. That is the impact of a wage hike at this point.
  • On PhilHealth nearing Bankruptcy: Philhealth is not going bankrupt. We have appropriated money for this year and next year. Philhealth is also universal. You can go a hospital and an ID is no longer necessary because the assumption is, you’re a Filipino, you’re a member of Philhealth.
  • On Philhealth’s arrears regarding hospitals: That concerns the past administration. This administration is very careful in paying past liabilities because that is a major source of graft – spurious claims.
  • On the National ID system: We’re following the Indian model, it may take a year for us to get this up and running.
  • The ID system does not require a physical ID. All you have to do is remember your number and with a facial recognition, that’s your ID. So even if you lose your ID, as long as you remember your number, it is ok.


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