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Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion believes that the overwhelming mandate given to Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. during the last elections presents a greater chance for inclusive growth for the Philippines.
“The record 31 million votes, malaking bagay ‘yan. We have not seen that in an extremely long time,” said the Go Negosyo founder during the Laging Handa Public Briefing last May 13.
“It was definitely a clean and honest election. Walang gulo, and the results matched the various surveys,” he said. “From my point of view, the underprivileged have been heard. Ang daming bumoto; maybe because they see na malaki ang pag-asa under him,” he said.
Concepcion shared that he had advised the incoming president that growth must be inclusive. “Kailangang ibuhos ang suporta sa MSMEs para maging mas inclusive ang economy natin,” Concepcion said.
“Most businesses here are MSMEs – 99.5%, – and they provide more than half of the jobs in this country,” he said. Helping these small enterprises, he said, will be important considering several challenges that await the new administration.
Necessary capital expenditures and pandemic spending pushed national debt to Php12.68-trillion. The debt-to-GDP ratio now stands at 63.5 percent, nearing the highest levels since 2005. A looming stagflation, brought about by rising commodity prices due to the Russia-Ukraine crisis can also dampen growth. “Kapag masyadong mahal na ang mga bilihin, hihina ang pagbili, at hihina din ang benta. That’s when stagflation happens,” he said.
Concepcion said that the incoming administration must assure foreign investors of a competent and transparent government. “Kung makita ang gobyerno ay maganda, mahusay at transparent, mas maraming papasok na foreign investors,” he said. Duterte’s economic team, he said, has already laid the groundwork for the ease of entry for foreign investors.
He also said that the incoming administration must take care not to lose the momentum that has been built up in the country’s fight against Covid-19. “We cannot afford to have heightened alert levels, “ he said. “We already saw how our GDP grew by 8.3 percent this first quarter when we opened the economy,” he said.
Concepcion emphasized, however, that the country must now come together after a particularly divisive election. “Unity is important. Lahat tayo dapat tumulong sa administration ni President Marcos,” he said. “Greater prosperity can happen if we are all working together,” he said. “Hopefully we will have less friction between the opposition and the administration and more working toward a common goal.”
Concepcion also expressed confidence that Marcos will continue President Rodrigo Duterte’s programs, particularly Build Build Build. “That would be a big help to the agriculture sector,” he said.
And while he assured the incoming president that he has the support of the private sector, both local and international investors are awaiting when Marcos announces his choice of cabinet members as this will provide more visibility of what can be expected from a Marcos administration. “Kung makita nila na itong programa ni Pres. Marcos ay mas klaro at mas transparent, mas maraming investors ang papasok, at tuloy-tuloy ang growth natin, at ginhawa ng citizens natin,” he said.