MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte's 6th and last State of the Nation Address was "disappointing" for failing to bring hope for the people especially in the midst of a pandemic and the resulting "economic damage," an economist said Tuesday.
Duterte's speech lacks "positive vision" and was loaded with "divisive words," Foundation for Economic Freedom President Calixto Chikiamco told ANC.
"I was quite disappointed because the tone is very jarred. Most of his speech was not about how we will recover from the pandemic and see our way out," he said.
"I was really looking for President Duterte to give a more positive vision, less divisive words. What we want from his, especially in his graduation speech, is really hope especially we’re suffering now from this pandemic," he said.
Chikiamco said going after water concessionaires, even when there is a new contract with the government after Duterte called the previous ones "onerous," was political posturing.
Going after these firms as well as oligarchs creates "a lot of fear and uncertainty among investors" and is not helpful to the business climate especially during the pandemic, he said.
What could have made his speech impactful was the pending economic bills which the president failed to highlight, Chikiamco said.
The Public Services Act, which aims to liberalize foreign ownership on telecommunications and transportation, could be Duterte's legacy, he said.
In his over 2-hour-long speech, Duterte briefly called for the passing of the Foreign Investments Act, the Public Service Act, and the Retail Trade and Liberalization Act.