On Monday, newly-elected Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr addressed his first state of the nation. However, he provided only minute details regarding his huge plans for the country, without emphasis on human rights and corruption, according to analysts.
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s First State of the Nation
The whole nation watched the much-awaited first State of the Nation Address (SONA) of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. He divulged a sequence of driven schemes, however, analysts observed that propositions didn’t have enough information. Additionally, there are obvious exclusions on major issues, especially human rights.
Marcos Jr laid out his agendas at the Batasan Pambansa Complex in Quezon City. It is also the traditional commencement for Congress and Senate sessions. Several guests, officials, and legislators congregate at the place which also served as the House of Representatives. He stated that he would develop former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s infrastructure programme, including the country’s rail transportation network.
“We live in difficult times brought about by some forces of our own making, but certainly, also by forces that are beyond our control. But we have, and we will continue, to find solutions,” Marcos Jr said in his speech.
Content of the SONA
In his speech, Marcos Jr exclaimed that he would generate jobs and uphold the growth of the agriculture sector. He will improve it to increase food production and slash imports despite the worldwide food price difficulty. Additionally, he will suspend farmers’ debts.
While continuing to expand the rail transport system, he guaranteed investors that he won’t suspend any projects. Likewise, his administration will maintain the 5% to 6% of GDP infrastructure spending.
Marcos Jr also expressed his commitment to uplift renewable energy investments. He added that he’s also amenable to using nuclear power as an additional resource to the country’s energy requirements. It is a plan commenced by his late father Ferdinand Marcos Sr. He was a former Philippine president who ruled the country for two decades during the 1970s.
Another promise he made for the country was to stay independent in its foreign policy. He swore that he won’t lose even a square inch of the Philippines’ territory to any foreign authority.
His government would enforce solid fiscal policy management. It includes introducing new taxes to support funds in health care, education, and technology. He seeks to make the Philippines a destination for investment.
What Do the Analysts Say?
You cannot please everybody as they always say. According to JC Punongbayan (professor and economics columnist), the speech was meagre in detail. He said that those are targets and not plans. The people can better analyse his promises afterwards. The professor also said that Marcos Jr pointed out about raising more taxes on the digital economy.
IBON’s executive director Sonny Africa, on the other hand, said that Marcos Jr’s speech went without concrete resolutions to the country’s economic issues. Africa added that the new president was only mirroring his predecessor’s dialogue when it comes to economic priorities.
Professor Bobby Tuazon said that the steps to address corruption and human rights were evidently excluded from Marcos Jr’s first SONA. Tuazon is a public policy expert at the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG).
According to Pulse Asia Research, the inflation rate tops the Philippines’ most crucial concern. The country is also facing issues regarding poverty abatement, wage hikes, and retarding corruption.
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