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Investors 'cautious' on Marcos gov't amid lack of clear policy agenda

Ramon Royandoyan - Philstar.com
Investors 'cautious' on Marcos gov't amid lack of clear policy agenda
A supporter poses at the miting de avance of the “UniTeam” tandem in front of Solaire in Parañaque City on May 7, 2022.
Philstar.com/EC Toledo

MANILA, Philippines — Investors are expected to move cautiously in the coming months as the likely Marcos administration has yet to lay clear economic plans for the Philippines, according to Nomura on Tuesday.

In an emailed commentary, the Japan-based investment bank noted that Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., the son and namesake of the ousted dictator, has not yet given indications of where his policy direction will go. Marcos will likely be proclaimed as the next president following a landslide electoral victory on Monday.

"[T]he lack of a comprehensive economic platform in his campaign implies some uncertainty over his policy priorities, and so his impending victory could be received with caution by investors, in our view," the commentary said.

Nomura noted in its commentary a "post-election policy uncertainty" after Marcos ran, and won, on a platform of "unity" while steering clear of debates meant to give candidates a venue to explain their plans.

For the most part, analyses in recent weeks laid out a difficult part for whoever is elected president of the country, as the newly-elected leader will need to manage recovery from pandemic fallout and fight runaway inflation with so little fiscal room to maneuver.

The incoming administration has yet to explain how it would fix these problems, but some analysts surmise Marcos' government would continue policies established by President Rodrigo Duterte in the past six years.

A unit of Fitch Group made the case for continuity in a new commentary, saying the Marcos administration would be able to transition smoothly and herald the Duterte government's infrastructure program, which has its share of problems.

Fitch Solutions penned its commentary from talking points gleaned from Marcos' campaign website, which included proposals to lower pork prices, promote renewable energy in the forefront, and modernize the ferry transportation system.

"So far, Marcos has not revealed members of his economic policy team and has provided few policy details on his campaign trail. However, we believe that Marcos will likely continue many of Duterte’s economic policies, especially the ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure program, as he has publicly vowed to do so," Fitch Solutions said in the commentary.

"He also proposed setting up an oil price stabilization fund as a long-term solution to help consumers, rather than remove the excise tax on fuel imports as a means to lower oil price."

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