PLM President Emmanuel Leyco is glad to see nine of 10 presidential candidates and seven of nine vice presidential bets engage in public debates organized by the Commission on Elections.
Leyco, who also represents the Academe and Civil Society Coalition for Voters’ Empowerment, took part in a roundtable discussion after the March 19 presidential debate to share his thoughts about the two-hour conversation among the candidates who showed up.
For him, it was a worthwhile endeavor which should help Filipinos in choosing the right leader to vote for on May 9 while emphasizing the country’s most pressing concerns.
"I’m really glad that agriculture and food security were given focus,” said President Leyco, an esteemed public finance professor. “The problems we saw during this pandemic, exposed the crisis we’ve been having ever since.”
Apart from him, industry experts Dr. Julie Caguiat of the CURE Covid Network and Bantay Bigas’ Catarina Estavillo joined the post-debate roundtable session moderated by trade lawyer Anthony Abad.
The first Comelec presidential debate focused on addressing the pandemic and uplifting the Philippine economy. Leyco said the discussion on healthcare spending and food security are key issues, but hoped candidates will be able to provide specifics as to their action plans.
"What kind of role will MSMEs play in our overall economic development? What is their recovery plan?,” the University president and coalition convenor said. “I really think that we need to hear more about their vision of governance, of development, their plans and programs.”
The Academe and Civil Society Coalition hopes this will be further tackled in future public engagements by the aspirants, as well as in succeeding debates organized by Comelec.
The poll body is mounting a second presidential debate on April 3, followed by town hall debates on April 23 and 24 for both presidential and vice presidential candidates.