SPEAKING OF Cabinet Appointments…
Cabinet members give an indication
of what the priorities of the new
By Prof. Herman Joseph Kraft
In the aftermath of the May 9, 2022 national elections in the Philippines, J.P. Morgan, a global leader in financial services, relegated the Philippines to the bottom of its ASEAN investment preference list and advised investors to reduce their exposure to local stocks as it intended to “downgrade the Philippines to underweight.” This brought down the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) index, and highlighted the economic hole that the Marcos Jr. administration has to immediately fill in. Much of this hole was due to the pandemic
response of the Duterte administration which emphasized lockdowns and government spending to compensate for economic displacement. The Philippine economy contracted by 9.5 percent in 2020 and joblessness surged by 10.3 percent in the same year. The outlook for economic recovery is viewed with uncertainty, and the J.P. Morgan decision reflected the lack of confidence that international investors had in what the prospect of a Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. presidency would bring into the situation.
Within the first few days after he was declared the winner of the 2022 presidential elections on May 25, 2022 by the Philippine Congress, Marcos announced his first Cabinet nominations. Among these were
Benjamin Diokno as his nominee for Secretary of the Department of Finance (DOF), Felipe Medalla as Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Arsenio Balisacan as Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and Alfredo Pascual as Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Later he named Amenah Pangandaman as head of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
All of the aforementioned, particularly the first three, are well known to the business and economic community. As a team, their appointment sent the signal that the Marcos Jr. administration will be .....