Marcos Jr downplays ‘lukewarm’ investor view of his possible presidency

MANILA – Former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has downplayed a report that investors were lukewarm to the prospect of him winning the presidency. 

A Bloomberg poll last month put Marcos near the bottom of a list ranking presidential aspirants who could lead the Philippines’ economic recovery. 

The survey of 28 investors and analysts gave Vice President Leni Robredo, Marcos’ main opponent in the presidential race, the highest score followed by Senator Panfilo Lacson and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso.

In response, Marcos said he will “convince” these investors and analysts.

“I will not tell them… There’s no need. I will do things. They’re not convinced? We will convince them,” Marcos said in an interview with CNN Philippines. 

An economist at UK-based economics research consultancy group Capital Economics earlier said Marcos would “reinforce” a view that the Philippine economy would continue to underperform in the coming years. 

Another UK-based think tank, Pantheon Macroeconomics, said in December, a Marcos presidency would be a “risk” to Manila’s economic and investment recovery. 

But Marcos said the analysts were making “political statements than actual economic analyses.” 

“And they may have a point. But we will… we know that. So kung sakali man maipanalo ko itong eleksyon, babantayan namin yung mga ganon,” he continued. 

Meanwhile, Marcos also said he was “not very partial” to creating new taxes to pay the country’s ballooning debt as he doesn’t want to further burden the public.

Despite this, the son and namesake of the late dictator said he would pursue an infrastructure program similar to the “New Deal” program by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression of 1929. 

“Kailangan may plano tayo dahil limited ang resources natin. Ang utang natin 13 trillion na. Kaya’t kailangan natin bawiin yun. Papano natin gagawin? So, we have to be very careful with what little funds we have.”

The actual amount of the Philippines’ debt was P12.09 trillion as of end-February. 

Marcos’ father Ferdinand Sr. presided over the country’s worst economic crisis since the Second World War, when the Philippine economy shrank a record 13.7 percent over a 2-year period. Inflation also shot up to a record 50 percent during the late strongman’s term.

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