Agreeing that the President deserves a grade of “incomplete,” a political analyst cited Marcos’ failure to deliver on many of his campaign promises, including lowering the prices of basic commodities.
A year into President Marcos’ term, a political science lecturer said the Chief Executive deserves the “incomplete” grade given to him by an economist.
Cleve Arguelles, an assistant lecturer in De La Salle University’s (DLSU) Department of Political Science and Development Studies made this assessment on ANC’s “Headstart” on Friday, June 30, as he looked back on Marcos’ first year in office.
Arguelles said most of the promises made by Marcos campaign period are yet to be felt by Filipinos, particularly in terms of economy such as reducing prices of basic food commodities.
While inflation is experienced throughout Southeast Asia, Arguelles noted how neighboring countries were able to implement effective and efficient responses, making it fair to hold Marcos accountable for high prices of basic needs.
“We haven’t seen the price of a basic commodity like onion… rise the way that it did in the Philippines. Despite the inflation, this particular challenge that is shared across different countries, the response of the governments have been different and that is how we’re actually assessing this administration,” Arguelles stressed.
He added a lack of relief policies amid rising fuel prices. Despite targeted cash transfers or the expansion of Kadiwa centers, Arguelles felt that a whole-of-government and society approach was lacking from the administration.
“These are pockets of relief rather than a national targeted effort to help ordinary Filipinos cope with these global challenges, and definitely, it’s the responsibility of the government to help its citizens cope with these global challenges,” Arguelles explained.
Aside from economic underperformance, Arguelles mentioned the controversial Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) and its long-term impact on the administration’s reputation.
Given the Marcoses’ past, it does not help that the administration prioritized a “no audit slush fund” like the MIF, he said.
“There are so many concerns about it. Not only about its economic performance, but it’s very vulnerable to massive corruption, and no less than Senator Imee Marcos, the sister of the President, already pointed this out,” Arguelles stressed.
Despite this, Arguelles noted that Marcos remains popular among Filipinos, citing surveys conducted by his firm WR Numero and other polling firms.
But he noted that President, like his predecessors, is still enjoying a “honeymoon” phase with Filipinos.
On “Sa Totoo Lang” over One PH, UP Diliman political science professor Jaime Naval gave Marcos a “6 to 6.5” out of 10 rating, saying he was more optimistic about the country’s economic situation.
“The economy in terms of macro indicators is quite showing us a comfortable situation. We also witness on the ground that supposedly unsettling rates have been controlled… but of course, there are still indicators in the inflation rate which needs to be given more action,” Naval said.
Like Arguelles, he noted high prices on food commodities. As these have physical consequences, Naval stressed lowering prices should be a priority.
On Thursday, June 29, Marcos himself agreed to the “incomplete” assessment and acknowledged that there is still “a long way to go” in terms of addressing the challenges confronting the country.