Appointments to Philippine President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s economic team are expected to be announced today in Manila. Marcos has faced
Appointments to Philippine President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s economic team are expected to be announced today in Manila.
Marcos has faced criticism over the slow pace in forming his 35-member cabinet. He only announced his seventh pick—of Arsenio Balisacan as economic planning chief—last Tuesday, and he has yet to announce his finance and budget chiefs.
Against this backdrop, the country faces significant economic headwinds, as evidenced by the government’s $242 billion debt and rising inflation tied to sharp increases in food and energy costs. In response, Marcos promised to expand outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte’s infrastructure program, lower the price of rice through subsidies and encourage small business growth through stimulus spending and tourism.
Expect Marcos to appoint technocrats from past presidential administrations to his own economic team as he seeks to downplay his unpreparedness and family history of nepotism. Yet, despite these appointments, Marcos will likely struggle to combat the country’s immediate economic problems due to the inflationary effects of increased government spending and the soaring price of imported fuel. If Marcos remains committed to populist economic measures, the Philippines will likely face elevated inflation throughout the length of his administration, with the severity of inflation dependent on the price of foreign oil.
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