Initial official election returns give former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. an advantage of at least five million votes over Vice-president Leni Robredo.
The presumptive victory highlighted Marcos Jr’s infrastructure plans, notably taking out of the closet the mothballed $2.2 billion Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) on top of Marcos’ campaign promises.
Marcos Jr. said he plans to upgrade the 620-megawatt plant at a cost of about $1 billion for four years and will be funded through public-private partnership. The BNPP was initiated by his late father and abandoned after heavy protests.
Marcos Jr.’s political party, Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP), released his plans under his impending presidency that tackle issues ranging from the economy to the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.
He said improving mass transport is the key to solving Metro Manila’s traffic woes, including modernizing the Pasig River Ferry System, making rides on the EDSA bus carousel permanently free, institutionalizing bike lanes, and moving government offices outside of Metro Manila.
Marcos Jr. also pledged to focus on developing the country’s digital infrastructure. Though he did not specify how he would implement the program, the former senator said it would involve adapting “the best technologies that are around the world to the Philippine condition.”
“Dapat we will find a way na kahit na malalayo, kahit na isolated, ay may signal kahit papano dahil kailangan na kailangan na natin iyan especially after the pandemic, we do everything on the internet,” Marcos Jr. said.
Marcos Jr. said he would focus on “jobs, jobs, jobs, prices, prices, prices” during his administration.
Based on statements made by the PFP, the former senator’s plans to restore jobs lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic involve giving tax holidays and tax amnesties to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), providing “ayuda” to farmers, and achieving herd immunity against the corona virus.
Marcos Jr., however, did not provide specifics as to how to make up for lost revenues due to tax holidays, fund the aid for farmers, or vaccinate around 70 million Filipinos.
The former senator also plans to boost the Tourism and agricultural sectors through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), and re-start the industrialization drive he said was started by his father, the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr.
In a statement, the younger Marcos said the country’s economy is “very dependent” on the service sector, which contributed around 60 percent to the Philippines’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2021. For comparison, the industrial sector contributed 30.8 percent while the agricultural sector contributed 10 percent.
“If the manufacturing sector has shrunk, then we really have to go back and re-design that part of our economy for the simple reason that if we want to be involved in trade, then we have to have something to trade with,” Marcos Jr. said.
The same statement said that during the industrialization drive made by Marcos Jr.’s father, the plan was to boost the agricultural sector first to secure the capital and capacity necessary for industrialization.
To address the country’s high energy prices, Marcos Jr. said his government would focus on the production, transmission, and distribution of electricity in the country, apart from operating the BNPP.
This would involve the creation of new geothermal and hydroelectric power plants, and the expanded use of solar and wind power sources. Marcos Jr. also said he would push for the use of “Large Scale Battery Storage” to store unused energy generated by renewable sources.