By Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza, Reporter
FERDINAND “BONGBONG” R. MARCOS, JR., 64, won the Philippine presidency by a landslide based on a message of unity and not much anything else.
He skipped debates, wary of traditional media known to bring up his father’s two-decade autocratic rule and leaving both his staunch supporters and critics guessing about how he really plans to run the country once he’s in control.
Mr. Marcos will start his six-year rule on June 30, heralding the return to power of the country’s most notorious political family that was driven out by a popular street uprising in 1986.
He’s widely seen as a continuity president, picking up from where President Rodrigo R. Duterte left off, including his infrastructure program that was delayed by a coronavirus pandemic and reviving remittances and a consumption-based economy.
“While these programs led to some measure of success during President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s time, it can prove disastrous when these are applied now,” said Leonardo A. Lanzona, who teaches economics at the Ateneo de Manila University, citing the Philippines’ rising debt.
He also said Mr. Marcos should address corruption that had slowly crept in the final part of the Duterte administration. “Unless corruption is checked, further declines in credit ratings are expected, making it more difficult to access funds from abroad.”
Mr. Marcos faces a tricky balancing act of supporting economic recovery and containing the country’s rising debt, Oxford Economics Lead Economist Sian Fenner and Assistant Economist Makoto Tsuchiya said in a recent note.
The Philippines’ budget deficit widened during the pandemic, as revenue collections remained lackluster.
The Philippine economy grew by 8.3% in the first quarter, slightly faster than government expectations, and that could give Mr. Marcos time to adjust and think of his game plan.
But analysts said growth remains unstable, with consumer spending likely to be stunted by…
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