Lagman says 1st 100 days not enough to gauge Marcos administration
MANILA, Philippines — The first 100 days may not be enough to gauge the performance of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and his administration, but for Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman, the country’s economic problems appear to have worsened.
In a statement on Friday, Lagman explained that economic woes such as the rising prices of goods, a weaker peso, and higher unemployment rates had affected the country since Marcos took office last June 30.
“It must be conceded that the overall performance of a new President cannot be adequately measured in his first 100 days. The period is too short for a keen appreciation, a veritable critical assessment, and a thorough validation. But the President’s first 100 days in office should impress and not depress the people,” said Lagman, who is also the president of the opposition Liberal Party.
“Economic woes continue to batter the country with escalating ferocity since President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s ascendancy. It appears that solutions are wanting even as the problems worsen. There are glaring and enormous problems demanding correct and immediate solutions, or at least the softening of the adverse impact on the people,” he added.
Lagman said the country’s economic situation has become worse and made the following observations:
- Rising inflation: headline inflation rates have risen from 6.1 percent in June to 6.9 percent in September.
- Rising unemployment rates: unemployment rates were at 5.3 percent in August compared to 5.2 percent in July.
- Escalating prices of basic goods and services: from the promise to reduce rice prices to P20 per kilogram, retail price of ordinary rice is now at P40 per kilo.
- Continuing depreciation on the peso: The peso went down to a record-low P59.18 against the US dollar.
Lagman said the following figures do not lie, noting that the “best and the brightest” in the administration’s economic team has failed to meet expectations.
“While these economic problems are mainly caused by external factors, it does not mean that the national leadership should be destitute of solutions to lessen the adverse consequences on Filipinos,” he said.
“The President may have appointed “the best and the brightest” to compose his economic team. However, the well-applauded team has not delivered the expected inputs of their mettle and expertise. In fact, with the exception of Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, no one else from the economic team has hurdled the Commission on Appointments,” he added.
Marcos, elected in the May 2022 national elections on a platform of unity, has promised several times to focus on the agriculture sector and the recovery of the country’s economy. He also aims to slash the poverty rate to 9 percent by 2028.
Marcos presented an optimistic outlook despite the problems in his July 25 State of the Nation Address. He said the state of the country is sound with a “functional” government.
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