Next admin needs experienced cabinet to face econ problems: business groups

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 11 2022 03:18 PM

Residents buy basic goods at Hunter Market, a wet market on Kaliraya Street, near Araneta Avenue in Tatalon Quezon City on April 08, 2022, Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Residents buy basic goods at Hunter Market, a wet market on Kaliraya Street, near Araneta Avenue in Tatalon Quezon City on April 08, 2022, Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Choosing experienced cabinet members for key economic positions will be crucial for the next administration to address challenges such as higher debt and inflation, business groups said Wednesday.

The Finance, Trade, Agriculture and Labor departments as well as the National Economic and Development Authority need people with "hands on experience" in running those key cabinet posts, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry president George Barcelon told ANC.

"What we’d like to see, people who are appointed are really competent in the job. If political appointees are appointed in important agencies, that may not bode well," Barcelon said.

"Definitely, the importance of economic team is going to be crucial as we know that the problem’s we’re facing, inflation and high debt, is really a pressing matter," he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte was "lucky" to have Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III at the helm, he said.

Management Association of the Philippines President Alfredo Pascual, meanwhile said once former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr is proclaimed, he should establish a "cohesive" team.

"It is important that his team is a cohesive team. Otherwise, if it's complete strangers surrounding him it would be a difficult situation for the new president," Pascual said.

PRIORITY CONCERNS

Both groups have outlined issues that should be prioritized by the next administration including debt, inflation, food supply, labor, drugs, education and health problems, among others.

There should also be continued collaboration between the private and the public sector and the focus on public-private partnerships (PPP) instead of ODA (Official Development Assistance), Pascual said.

"So I guess the presidency of Mr Marcos will really focus initially on addressing these problems but in the end he had to pay attention to the longer-term of challenges that the country faces in order to achieve sustained growth," Pascual said.

Marcos along with his running-mate vice presidential aspirant Sara Duterte-Carpio have dominated the national elections based on partial unofficial results.

Meanwhile, analysts said some investors remain in “wait and see” mode until Marcos lays down a clearer economic plan.

"Yung investor community is just, I'd say still a bit anxious, of course hopeful. But still awaiting further details on the plans, economic plans of Mr. Marcos,…until we get more clarity on that, kasi nga I guess in terms of interviews we didn't get much, also sa debates, we just go by what was posted,” ING Philippines senior economist Nicholas Mapa said.

Meanwhile ATR Asset Management Chief Investment Officer Sandra Araullo said the anxiety stems from not hearing much about what the plan is.

“Unfortunately there hadn't been debates, there hadn't been a lot of media interviews granted by the incoming presumptive president. The uncertainty around that is what's causing the market to priced in,” Araullo said.

-- with a report from Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News

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