2022 presidential election: Who will be good for the economy? | Inquirer Opinion

2022 presidential election: Who will be good for the economy?

/ 04:05 AM May 09, 2022

The 2022 election will determine the Philippine economy’s post-pandemic trajectory. The next administration will face a huge burden that requires quick action: tackling unemployment, a huge fiscal deficit, and high oil prices.

To make matters worse, the presidential front-runner, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., is a candidate whose leadership and economic platform do not inspire confidence among economists and investors. Economists, think tanks, and financial institutions agree: A Marcos Jr. presidency will hurt the Philippine economy and undo the economic reforms of the past decade.


The apprehension stems from the lack of clarity in Marcos Jr.’s economic platform, his past conviction for tax evasion, and his lackluster track record.

Investors hate uncertainty, and that is exactly what Marcos Jr. brings to the table. He refuses to join presidential debates or address concerns about his character and candidacy. He dodges even the simple question of whether he graduated with a degree from Oxford University.


His association with his father’s regime of cronyism, corruption, ill-gotten wealth, and human rights abuses does not sit well with investors. His campaign is hinged on rehabilitating his father’s legacy through fake news.

Marcos Jr. was convicted for tax evasion while he was vice governor and governor of Ilocos Norte from 1980-1986, and his family has faced charges of ill-gotten wealth and nonpayment of billions worth of estate taxes. A Marcos Jr. presidency would be a blow to accountability, rule of law, corruption control, and political stability.

Marcos Jr. has not said much about his plans for the country. When he does, his proposals are simplistic, populist, and lack nuance. Former economic planning secretary Cielito Habito wrote that Marcos Jr. does not understand that lowering rice prices to P20 to P30 per kilo would hurt our farmers even further.

Former tourism secretary Bertie Lim warned that Marcos Jr.’s plan to revive the National Food Authority would be a mistake as it was one of the most graft-ridden government agencies with the highest debt.

National Scientist Raul Fabella criticized Marcos Jr.’s vows to bring back the Oil Price Stabilization Fund (OPSF) created by his father in 1984. Politics and corruption in the monopoly of petroleum imports made OPSF a waste of fiscal resources. “Marcos, obsessed with proving his forebear a genius, promises a repeat of the season of insanity pioneered by Apo Ferdie,” Fabella said.

The good news is that one candidate inspires confidence among investors and economists: Leni Robredo. Nomura Global Research views her administration as “more market-friendly.”In a Bloomberg poll of 28 investors and analysts, Robredo is the top pick as the best presidential candidate to lead the Philippine economy.

A senior journalist noted that Marcos Jr. has never had to earn a living, except for stints in public office that were far between. Said the journalist, Robredo struggled to raise a family, took up economics, studied law, defended the poor, and crafted legislation. Marcos Jr. cannot have the same economic “intelligence” that she has accumulated.


We have two options: Head toward economic recovery, or regress and waste past reforms, to be faced with corruption, worsening poverty, declining investment, ballooning debt, and lagging economic performance.

Strategic Communication Officer
Action for Economic Reforms

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TAGS: #VotePH2022, 2022 presidential race, Action for Economic Reforms, Letters to the Editor, Pia Rodrigo
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