Marcos not keen on tapping e-sabong for revenues: spox

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 17 2022 08:45 PM

MANILA - The camp of presumptive President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Tuesday said he is not keen on tapping e-sabong or online cockfighting for revenues. 

"Not just for e-sabong but for any industry, even if the potential revenue is really, really enticing, if it will compromise the moral fiber of the youth, if it will compromise the value of the Filipino family, President Bongbong is more than willing to let go of that very lucrative source," said Marcos spokesperson and transition team head Vic Rodriguez.

Rodriguez also sidestepped questions on how Marcos plans to trim the country's ballooning debt.

The Philippines’ sovereign debt hit a record P12.68 trillion at the end of March, as the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte borrowed heavily to fund the country’s COVID-19 response and his ambitious infrastructure program. 

A congressman who heads the House tax panel earlier said the government needed to raise P326 billion in fresh revenues yearly to trim the country’s ballooning debt. 

The public, however, will have to wait until Marcos assumes power to know how he plans to service this debt., Rodriguez said.

"As to how we're gonna raise it, I'm sure you understand that the present administration is still being led by President Duterte," Rodriguez told reporters in a press conference.

"So with all due respect to the president, who we fully support, antayin na lang ho muna ninyo yung official assumption of President-elect Bongbong as president," he said.

Marcos' camp has yet to name members of their Cabinet's economic cluster, noting that it is "challenging" to convince key officials to leave the comforts of the private sector.

Rodriguez urged the public to give the incoming president ample time to "have his own government and have his own governance."

"While we respect the many good people that are serving in the present administration, I think we'll just give him enough space to define his own government and have his own governance," he said.

As the Philippines' debt-to-GDP ratio ballooned to 63.5 percent in March, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno said that the next administration must keep economic growth robust to keep the debt level manageable.

Socioeconomic Planning Manager Karl Kendrick Chua said the next administration should be "prudent" and should "live within their means" to keep a strong macro-fiscal position.

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