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Duterte to Marcos admin transition begins

THE outgoing Duterte and incoming Marcos Jr. administrations have jump-started their transition talks. Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said on Tuesday, just a day after the presidential elections, that the briefing has begun.

Dominguez declined to identify who composed the economic team of Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who will assume the presidency on July 1. “Let’s await their disclosure,” Dominguez said.

In a May 9 report, London-based think tank Capital Economics said the Marcos Jr. presidency was expected to sustain the ambitious “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program as well as closer ties with China, which his predecessor initiated.

“Spending on infrastructure would be welcome and could provide an important boost to the country’s prospects. In contrast, the potential economic benefits from closer ties with China are likely to be quite small, especially given the risk that a pivot towards Beijing could jeopardize the country’s more important economic relationship with the US,” Capital Economics senior Asia economist Gareth Leather and Asia economist Alex Holmes said.

Capital Economics said that his win in this year’s presidential elections “puts Marcos in a powerful position.” “Given his family background and his chequered political career to date, there are concerns among investors that his election will fuel corruption, nepotism and poor governance,” Capital Economics warned.

As for managing the economy recovering from its pandemic slump, Capital Economics said that “Marcos would do well to follow in Duterte’s footsteps by delegating the management of the economy to competent bureaucrats.”

“Marcos gave away a few policy details on the campaign trail.

But one thing he is keen to do is to resume the ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure program of President Duterte, which he hopes to ‘expand and improve.’ There is little doubt that the Philippines would benefit from upgrading its infrastructure, which is rated as among the worst in Asia,” Capital Economics said. PDI