MANILA - Leading presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr needs to address inflation and underemployment under his administration, a lawmaker said Friday.
The country's inflation is "essentially food inflation" and Marcos needs to "make proper pronouncements" for the agriculture sector, according to Albay 2nd Disrict Rep. Joey Salceda.
The Philippines last year imported 15 million metric tons of food, importing "basically for every single commodity," Salceda said.
"Unang-una talaga is to address properly the inflation, make the proper announcements in terms of agriculture. Pangalawa is to look at jobs, kailangan ng suporta sa MSMEs. Yan ang 2 talagang una niyang mine-mention," he told ANC's Headstart.
(The first thing is to address properly the inflation, make the proper announcements in terms of agriculture. Second is to look at jobs, MSMEs need support. Those are the 2 things that he mentioned.)
Marcos' choices are between "budget cuts, high taxes, or higher tax collection efficiency," Salceda said.
"He must be able to mobilize this popular support not only in terms of the mandate he got but also the kind of Congress he will form...He has to mobilize that mandate as well as his control of Congress to send signals to foreign investors as well as domestic investors," he said.
The former senator also needs to address underemployment, Salceda added.
"Basically meron kang (you have) 6.4 million that are underemployed...Ito yung mga di nakapagtrabaho ng (These are people who didn't get to work) 40 hours in a week," he said.
"Pangatlo, ang jobs quality natin ay lost here. We have major losses for more technical jobs like education...There are 2.4 million jobs sana that can be potentially created if the skills required for them exist."
(We have lost the quality of jobs here.)
Marcos' appointment of personnel will also be his "chief policy," according to Salceda.
"At this point, personnel is policy. Ibig sabihin yung klase ng tao (the kind of people you appoint) articulates the kind of policy that you want, the kind of vision that you want," he said.
Good pronouncements can also shorten the adjustment period of investors to 12 months instead of 18 months, Salceda said.
"Ang importante na sunod dyan ay sabi ko nga dahil sa concerns sa kanya at sa tatay niya baka kailangan 18 months adjustment...Pwede kung maganda ang pronouncements yung 18 months ajdustment period magiging 12," he said.
(The next important thing is because of concerns about him and his father, an 18-month adjustment is needed...If he makes good pronouncements, it can be shortened to 12.)
A Bloomberg report in March has placed Marcos Jr at the bottom of a list on who could best lead the recovery of the country's economy.