Former senator and UniTeam standard-bearer is set to take over the presidency. Based on partial unofficial results of the May 9 elections, president-in-waiting Bongbong Marcos already has 31 million votes, unassailably ahead by some 14 million votes off his closest pursuer.
Learn from yesterday, live for today, and hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.
— German-born theoretical physicist Albert Einstein
MANILA — Marcos critics may see red with former senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. poised to take over the presidency but analytical group Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research expects a “smooth transition” and policy continuity with the late strongman’s son dominating the recent presidential polls based on partial unofficial results.
“We expect a smooth transition to the Marcos administration from the outgoing Duterte administration, with little changes in policy direction,” Fitch Solutions enthused.
“We had previously noted that Marcos is the continuity candidate as his economic and foreign policy stances are most similar to the outgoing Duterte administration. His election win, therefore, bodes well for policy continuity in the Philippines,” it added.
Although President Rodrigo Duterte declined to publicly pronounce support for any presidential bet, his daughter ‘Inday’ Sara Duterte-Carpio, who is also set to become the next vice president, is Bongbong’s running mate.
With Marcos Jr. about to become the country’s 17th president based on the partial unofficial result issued by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Fitch Solutions claim this has raised the country’s “policy continuity” subcomponent score to 80 from 70.
“Going forward, we expect the change in administration to result in only negligible changes to both economic and foreign policy direction,” the research spelled out even as it also noted that the situation has also raised the Philippine Short-Term Political Risk Index Score to 66.5 out of 100, from 64 “after unofficial results showed that Marcos had won the 9 May presidential election with a landslide victory.”
Meanwhile, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) are showing net foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows rising by 46.3 percent year on year would reach about US$893 million in the current year.
In a statement, the BSP revealed that the February FDI grew from the US$611 million net inflows recorded in the same month last year.
“The said increase brought the cumulative FDI net inflows to $1.7 billion, higher by 8.0 percent than the $1.6 billion net inflows posted in the first two months of 2021. The growth in FDI reflected mainly the continued infusion of funds by non-resident direct investors to their local subsidiaries,” it pointed out.
“Specifically, the expansion in the January-February 2022 net inflows was because of the 29.3-percent growth in non-residents’ net investments in debt instruments to $1.4 billion from $1 billion in the comparable period last year,” the central bank added.
Moreover, the BSP said that in particular, equity capital placements grew (by 26.5 percent to US$116 million from US$92 million), while equity capital withdrawals contracted (by 72.4 percent to US$19 million from US$69 million).
Equity capital placements were attributed mostly to Kuwait, Japan, and the United States. Capital infusions were channeled mainly to the 1) financial and insurance; 2) manufacturing; and 3) real estate industries.
For his part, chief economist Michael Ricafort of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) said that net FDI in February 46.3 percent year-on-year to US$893 million (higher against US$611 million a year ago and against US$819 million a month ago), among pre-pandemic highs.
“As the Alert Level in Metro Manila and more areas eased and even relaxed further to the lowest Alert Level 1 since March 2022, thereby could help improve FDI data in the coming months,” Ricafort opined.
“FDI nevertheless still among the highest since the pandemic started and still near record highs on a monthly basis; thereby still a bright spot for the economy, as these would still lead to more business activities, as well as leading the creation of more jobs as the economy re-opened further toward greater normalcy and with the nationwide adoption since November 2021 of the Alert Level System or granular lockdowns at the street level,” the economist concluded.
With all these in view, opinions and perceived apprehension by opposition of a Marcos administration have to bear in mind that there is still a lot to be hopeful for because they cannot deny that more than 30 million Filipinos have put their faith (and future) in the hands of a man whose advocacy is to unite our country and galvanize its people into productive action.
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