NEDA asks frontrunner Marcos Jr. to continue Duterte's economic agenda

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 11 2022 03:20 PM

People walk in the business district of Makati City on March 03, 2022 as the Philippines eases quarantine rules, with many workers returning to work. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
People walk in the business district of Makati City on March 03, 2022 as the Philippines eases quarantine rules, with many workers returning to work. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) on Wednesday said it hopes the administration of presidential frontrunner Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. will continue his predecessor's economic agenda and "build on its gains."

NEDA Undersecretary Rose Edillon said it would help if Marcos, Jr. laid down his specific economic plans, but said the agency has also created a transition scheme that prioritizes economic recovery. 

"Ang tingin namin dito (priorities) ay... number one, i-accelerate natin 'yung economic recovery. Number 2, i-build natin 'yung resiliency and number 3, let's promote innovation para maging agile tayo kung ano man ang maging challenges natin," Edillion said in a public briefing. 

"'Yon po ang aming hope at yun din naman po ang ilalatag namin sana sa incoming administration kasi ang importante po talaga ay policy continuity," she added.

"By and large mayroon na rin pong nakalatag at malalaman na lang natin sa susunod na presidente kung ano pa po ang maidadagdag niya dito."

Among Marcos, Jr.'s economic plans is the continuation of President Rodrigo Duterte's "Build, Build, Build" program, restoration of jobs lost due to COVID-19 through tax holidays and tax amnesties to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME).

The former senator also wanted to provide "ayuda" to farmers, and for the public to achieve herd immunity against the coronavirus. He, however, did not provide specifics as to how to make up for lost revenues due to tax holidays, or where to get funds to aid farmers. 

Edillon said Duterte has already laid the foundation so his successor can "build on the gains."

"'Yun na rin ang naipakita nitong administration na ito kaya nagtuloy-tuloy ang paglago na walang going back," she noted.

"Ito 'yung ilalatag namin sa incoming administration baka naman mayroon silang mas magandang panukala... malamang magkakaroon rin ng pag-aaral kung ano ang nararapat."

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Duterte's ambitious "Build, Build, Build" program aimed to generate jobs and to boost infrastructure growth in the country but only 12 out of more than 100 projects in the pipeline were completed. 

Earlier this year, the President signed an executive order that laid out his 10-point agenda for economic recovery amid the threat of COVID-19, which included looser virus restrictions, further reopening the economy, and preparations for pandemic resilience.

Malacañang earlier vowed that the country would achieve the so-called "new normal" and fully vaccinate 90 million of the eligible population from COVID-19 before the President steps down by June.