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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Pluses outweigh minuses

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“The administration has faced criticism for not doing enough to address environmental issues like deforestation, pollution, and climate change mitigation”

WHEN President Marcos Jr. will deliver his second State of the Nation Address or SONA on July 22, he can hold his head high because there have been more pluses, which far outweigh the minuses,  as far as the country’s economic recovery is concerned.

All this, despite the more than three years of pandemic which brought the country down on its knees, and all the threats and challenges the country was and still is facing, which have been happening, like the Russia-Ukraine War and the Israel-Hamas War which could  engulf the whole Middle East, Santa Banana!

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I am giving BBM a score of 9, my gulay!

Since assuming office on June 30, 2022, President Marcos Jr. has undertaken initiatives to promote and achieve economic prosperity.

The notable successes and efforts include:

1. Economic Recovery and Growth:

The Philippine economy has shown signs of recovery post-pandemic, with GDP growth rates that indicate a rebound.

The economy grew by 7.6 percent, one of the highest in the region.

He continued the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program initiated by the previous administration, aiming to improve transportation, logistics, and connectivity, thereby boosting economic activity.

2. Investment Promotion:

Marcos Jr.’s administration  has actively promoted the Philippines as an attractive destination for foreign investments.

The government has engaged in dialogues with potential investors and eased certain regulatory frameworks to encourage more FDI.

Efforts to strengthen trade relationships with other countries have been a focus to enhance market access for Philippine products. 

3. Agricultural Reforms:

Initiatives to modernize agriculture and support farmers through subsidies, training, and better access to technology have been emphasized to boost productivity and food security.

Programs aimed at ensuring food security by improving agricultural output and stabilizing prices have been implemented.

4. Tourism Revival:

The administration has focused on revitalizing the tourism sector, which was impacted by the pandemic.  Campaigns to attract international tourists and improve tourism infrastructure are part of this effort.

5. Digital Transformation:

Investments in digital infrastructure to support the growing digital economy, including improving internet connectivity and promoting digital literacy among citizens.

6. Fiscal Management:

Continued implementation of tax reforms to improve revenue collection and ensure fiscal sustainability.  This includes measures to broaden the tax base and improve compliance.

7. Social Protection and Welfare:

Strengthening social protection programs aimed at reducing poverty and providing support to the most vulnerable sectors of society.

Investment in education and healthcare to improve human capital, which is essential for long term growth.

These efforts collectively aim to create a more resilient and dynamic Philippine economy capable of sustaining growth and improving the livelihoods of its citizens.

However, Santa Banana,  while Marcos Jr.’s administration has undertaken initiatives to promote economic prosperity, there have been several challenges and areas where it has faced criticism or fallen short!

The notable failures or criticisms include:

1. Inflation and Rising Prices:

The Philippines has experienced significant inflation, with prices of basic goods and service increasing, which has put a strain on household budgets.

This has been a major concern for many Filipinos, especially those in lower-income brackets.

Despite efforts to boost agricultural productivity, the country has faced issues with food supply and price stability, particularly with essential items like rice, sugar, and onions.

2. Slow Bureaucratic Reforms:

Businesses have reported ongoing issues with bureaucratic red tape and inefficient regulatory processes, which hinder economic activity and investment. 

3. Public Debt and Fiscal Deficit:

The administration has faced criticism over the growing national debt, which has raised concerns about fiscal sustainability.

Managing the fiscal deficit remains a challenge.

4. Agricultural Sector Struggles:

Despite initiatives to support the agricultural sector, productivity and growth have been underwhelming.  Issues such as inadequate infrastructure, climate change impacts, and insufficient investment continue to plague the sector.

5. Persistent Poverty and Inequality:

While there have been efforts to alleviate poverty, a significant portion of the population continues to live in poverty, and economic benefits have not been evenly distributed. 

6. Environmental and Disaster Resilience:

The administration has faced criticism for not doing enough to address environmental issues like deforestation, pollution, and climate change mitigation.

I have not included all the threats and challenges that BBM is facing in connection with the incessant and continuous bullying of the Philippines by China over disputed waters and China’s incursions into the Exclusive Economic Zone.

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