Policy brief cites hits, misses in Marcos’ 1st year | Inquirer News

Policy brief cites hits, misses in Marcos’ 1st year

Policy brief cites hits, misses in Marcos’ 1st year

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (File photo by MARIANNE BERMUDEZ / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — The business community on Tuesday urged President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to build on the gains of his first year in office and learn from his administration’s early missteps, as they called on the government to make the country more conducive to both foreign and local investments.

Former Finance Undersecretary Romeo Bernardo, who is now a country analyst for New York-based think tank Global Source Partners, said the Marcos administration had its hits and misses during its first year, highlighting what it had done right as well as the mistakes that it can learn from.


“Where the administration got it right from the start was to abandon lockdown as a policy to control Covid. This unleashed unexpectedly large pent-up demand quickly that pushed last year’s [gross domestic product] growth past most forecasts,” Bernardo said in a policy brief.


To recall, the economy posted a 7.6-percent growth in 2022, a performance touted by Mr. Marcos as the highest in 46 years amid the lingering impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Where it most evidently got it wrong was in managing food supplies. Skyrocketing prices of items that make up a tiny part of the consumer’s food basket — notably sugar and onions — generated outsized impacts on inflation at a time of already elevated global food and energy prices,” Bernardo added.

The Marcos administration had struggled to keep down the prices and ensure an adequate supply of some key agricultural food commodities, including sugar and red onion, during the latter part of 2022.

Prices of sugar spiked to as high as P90 per kilogram during the latter part of the year while red onions reached prices of P540 per kg to a high of P700 per kg in markets in Metro Manila.

Bernardo said the administration may be credited for steps it took to build on the foreign investment liberalization laws left behind by the previous administration of Rodrigo Duterte.

Furthermore, he said the administration caught the eye of foreign policy experts by moving further away from an overly pro-China stance while trying to avoid antagonizing the neighborhood giant.


Likewise, he noted that Marcos’ foreign trips to major industrialized countries also served as roadshows to showcase the Philippines as an investment destination.

“One year on, positive reviews on the administration’s performance from business circles’ appreciation that President Marcos has exhibited none of his father’s autocratic qualities, nor of his predecessor’s uncivility, boorishness,” he said.

Bernardo also said Marcos has been praised for choosing high-caliber Cabinet members, adding that “his personal, more consultative style vis-à-vis the business sector has also been welcomed.”


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TAGS: 2023 State of the Nation Address, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Global Source Partners, Romeo Bernardo, Sona

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