Marcos highlights implementation of structural changes for 2023

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (Photo from Bongbong Marcos Facebook)

PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said his administration has implemented structural changes for the year 2023 which has been significant as the country recovers from all economic challenges left by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

In an interview with reporters at the sidelines of his attendance to the 50th Commemorative ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation Summit in Tokyo, Marcos was asked to describe his performance for the year 2023.

“This 2023 was really the year of structural changes,” Marcos said.

“So, those structural changes were necessary because we have to remodel, or re-adjust rather, our – for example our fiscal policy, even our monetary policy, our spending policy, so that we are slowly moving – or not so slowly, so, we’re moving away from the Covid economy,” he added.

Marcos noted that the effect of these structural changes which includes “finding the best people for each government position” will be greatly felt in 2024.

In January, Marcos signed Executive Order No. 14 which adopts the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028 approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) as the second medium-term plan anchored on “AmBisyon Natin 2040,” a guide for development planning from 2016-2040 to enable Filipinos to attain a stable, convenient, and peaceful life.

The PDP will serve as the country’s roadmap in building a more prosperous, inclusive and resilient society especially by reinvigorating job creation and accelerating poverty reduction by steering the economy back on the high-growth path and effect economic transformation.

Marcos said it is aimed to “bring back the country to a high-growth trajectory and more importantly, enable economic and social transformation for a prosperous, inclusive, and resilient society.”

The country started 2023 with 8.7 percent record-high inflation rate for January which calmed down to 4.7 percent in July and further slowed down to 4.1 percent in November.

Marcos earlier said he is losing sleep in thinking of ways to address the country’s inflation which a major contributor is the increase in the process of food.

The President has ordered concerned government agencies to boost the fight against smugglers and hoarders which is among the reasons for high prices of basic commodities.

Through an Executive Order (EO) Marcos ordered the creation of an Inter-Agency Committee for the implementation of initiatives aimed at addressing the inflation, improving economy and elevating the quality of life of Filipinos.

In July, despite criticisms, Marcos signed into law the bill creating Republic Act No. 11954 also known as the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) Act of 2023 which is “designed to drive economic development” and widen the government’s fiscal space and ease pressure in financing public infrastructure projects.

It is also aimed to encourage foreign investors to invest in the Philippines.

The administration is also working on implementing measures to ease the way of doing business in the country in the bid to have more investors invest in the country.

On his outlook for 2024, Marcos said that the administration’s goal does not change, which is to continue the modernization of the government.

“Medyo obsolete na ‘yung ibang structure natin sa gobyerno. That we continue to modernize, we continue to be responsive to the new economy, that we position ourselves properly,” Marcos said.

“We’re moving in the right direction. But if you ask me, I’m always – I always say it’s too slow, it’s too slow, it’s too slow. So, we will just keep pushing and pushing and pushing para matapos lahat ito so that we can start to feel the effects of those changes that we made,” he added.

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