Philippine economy to worsen under Marcos – think tank

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine economy may not be able to recover from the pandemic and may likely suffer further setbacks if the dictator’s son, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., secures the presidency, an international think tank said.

In its weekly brief, UK-based Capital Economics said Marcos’ plans for the country’s economic recovery from COVID-19 and information about Marcos himself are “far from encouraging.”

Last week, the election campaign officially kicked off as presidential candidates moved to woo Filipinos to vote for them on May 9.

Capital Economics warned of the possible repercussions should Marcos get the highest position in the land. The former senator is still leading in several surveys.

“It is unlikely the situation will improve under Mr. Marcos and could easily get worse,” economist Alex Holmes said.

“If he is elected, it would only reinforce our view that this under-performance will continue,” he said.

The Philippine economy is still struggling to rebound from the pandemic-induced recession in 2020, especially as new COVID-19 variants continue to emerge and as downside risks persist.

Over 200 economists have emphasized the crucial role of the new government in the country’s recovery from the current health and economic crisis. These economists, however, believe that Vice President Leni Robredo, and not Marcos, can do the job well.

Holmes argued that poor governance, an undermining of institutions, a lack of policy-making experience, corruption and nepotism have all contributed to the political instability, which has been a key factor behind the under-performance of the economy over recent decades.

“Presidential candidates in the Philippines do not tend to run on detailed policy platforms, and Marcos is no exception,” Holmes said.

Marcos has dodged several pre-election interviews with other candidates, especially those hosted by seasoned journalists.