Social agenda sought in Marcos' first SONA

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 25 2022 12:27 PM

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. delivers his inaugural address at the National Museum in Manila on June 30, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. delivers his inaugural address at the National Museum in Manila on June 30, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — A local think tank is calling on the new administration to focus on social agenda amid rising inflation and higher fuel and food costs in the country.

Infrawatch PH convenor Terry Ridon expects President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will provide more clarity on social policies during his first State of the Nation Address.

"We have been calling the new President and new administration to focus on social agenda because the mandate of this President and this administration... has been taken from the great millions of people that are looking for free education, free healthcare, affordable housing," he told ANC Monday.

Marcos was elected by a majority in the May 9 elections after garnering over 31.1 million votes.

The group also expects Marcos to present a "clear and concrete infrastructure agenda" in light of dwindling business space.

Should the new administration enter into more public-private partnerships, public interest must be at the core of it, Ridon added.

As the country's debt nears P13 trillion, Infrawatch PH also called for a review of all projects, particularly the China-funded projects, from the past administration.

Marcos will inherit 88 projects of former President Rodrigo Duterte's "Build, Build, Build" program. Of the tally, 35 are under construction and set for completion by 2023 while 20 others have yet to be reviewed.

Ridon said this requires a balancing act from Marcos in determining whether infrastructure projects are more important than social issues.

"New roads, new highways, new trains will not fill hungry stomachs of marginalized Filipinos," he said. "I think that's the most important message that we would like to hear from the new President in his State of the Nation Address."

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