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The Philippines should refocus its efforts to domestic industries and increase financial stimulus directly given to Filipino families to support the revival of the economy, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila President Emmanuel Leyco said.
Leyco, an economics and public finance professor, said the country should move away from its heavy reliance on the export of labor and the importation of goods to fast-track the economic rebound.
“Noong mga nakaraan, ang ating laging inaasahan ay mga padala ng OFWs, pero ngayon sila mismo ang nawawalan ng hanapbuhay. Bumabalik sila, wala silang hanapbuhay at hirap tayo,” Leyco said in an interview with DZXL.
He also pointed out that the surge in online shopping has seen more products made in China sold on local e-commerce platforms. The government’s solution to surging pork prices was also additional imports of meat products.
“Kailangang patatagin na natin ang ating sariling ekonomiya… Ang inaasahan, mag-aangkat nang mag-aangkat. Ang problema natin ngayon, kung tayo ay patuloy na mag-aangkat, walang maiiwang pondo sa ating bayan,” the PLM President added, pointing out that the decline in agricultural output in the fourth quarter meant that the country cannot provide its own food requirements.
He has also rejected calls to pursue economic charter change, saying now is not the time to open up the economy to foreign ownership. The focus should be putting money directly into people’s pockets.
“We are a consumer-driven economy. Pero kung walang panggastos ang ating mga household, hindi po talaga magkakaroon ng sigla ang ating kabuhayan. Walang pantustos ang ating mga mamamayan,” Leyco added.
A rethinking of the country’s economic development plan is necessary, the PLM President also said. Better infrastructure for logistics as well as mass transport should also be in place to facilitate efficient movement.
Watch the interview starting the 45-minute mark: