Economy could get worse under Bongbong, think tank says; Marcos camp cites economic agenda


UK-based Capital Economics believes the Philippine economy will likely get worse should former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. win as president in Eleksyon 2022, but the camp of the late dictator’s son said the think tank failed to monitor their economic agenda.

According to Capital Economics Emerging Asia economist Alex Holmes, there is not much known about Marcos’ plans to help in the economic recovery from the pandemic and fiscal policy to boost the local business sector.

“It is unlikely the situation will improve under Mr. Marcos and could easily get worse,” Holmes said in the think tank’s latest weekly outlook.

“If he is elected, it would only reinforce our view that this underperform will continue,” he added, noting 'poor governance, an undermining of institutions, lack of policy making experience, corruption, and nepotism' which have plagued the country over recent decades.

Marcos announced his presidential bid in October 2021, the same day he took his oath as a member of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) allied with the Duterte administration.

He topped the latest  Pulse Asia Research Inc. survey, conducted on January 19 to 24, with 60%. Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo — who has been endorsed by over 100 economists — was a far second with 16%.

Marcos has declined invites to several pre-election debates and interviews, including one with GMA’s award-winning journalist Jessica Soho whom the former senator’s camp said was supposedly biased against them.

“What we do know about him is far from encouraging. Mr. Marcos is currently facing charges of tax evasion, which could yet see him disqualified from the contest,” Holmes said.

“He has no legislative achievements to show for his six years in the Senate, where he was criticised for involvement in a massive corruption scandal,” he elaborated.


The Commission on Elections (Comelec) First Division last week dismissed one of the disqualification cases filed against Marcos, noting that disqualification cannot apply to his tax violations as these were made before the effectivity of Presidential Decree 1994 in January 1986.

Economic agenda

Sought for comment, Marcos’ chief of staff and spokesperson Atty. Victor Rodriguez cited the camp’s economic agenda which hinges on “national unity.”

“It is unfortunate, then, if the UK-based think tank Capital Economics failed to monitor or collect some, if not all, details of UniTeam’s economic agenda which are summarized in layman’s terms for the clear understanding of the Filipino audience with whom BBM is calling to rally behind his vision for a unified people to confront the challenges brought by the coronavirus pandemic,” he said in a separate mobile message sent Monday.

Rodriguez said Marcos and his slate will push through with the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program, along with boosting agriculture to drive economic growth.

“National unity is the crucial first step towards economic recovery. Without that very key ingredient, not much can be done,” he said.

“We cannot afford to remain forever as a divided nation. Our people have already suffered so much because of division that did not help, and on the contrary, only contributed so much to our people’s sufferings,” Rodriguez added.

Rodriguez said Marcos plans to improve the country’s business climate to attract more investors for public-private partnership programs; lower the price of electricity; and ensure stability of goods and services prices.

“The UniTeam has many more in store to ensure economic recovery, like the strengthening of the small and medium scale enterprises, during and beyond the pandemic, and these plans, deemed doable and realizable, only because they are anchored in national unity,” he explained.

Philippine economic growth stood at 7.7% in the fourth quarter of 2021, bringing the full-year growth to 5.6%. —KG, GMA News