MANILA, (PIA) — The administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is aiming to further reduce the country’s debt, in addition to further reducing the number of poor people by 2028.
This is just one of the goals laid out by President Marcos in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) held at the Batasan Pambansa in Quezon City on Monday, July 25.
The President said he wants to lower the country’s poverty rate to just 9 percent or by a single-digit by the end of his term in 2028.
It can be recalled that during the time of former President Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines failed to achieve the target of 15.5 percent poverty rate at the end of his term due to the COVID-19 pandemic where up to 3.9 million Filipinos fell into poverty due to successive lockdowns that stopped major economic activities.
In the first six months of 2021, the country’s poverty rate reached 23.7 percent, higher than the 21.1 percent recorded in the same period in 2018.
According to the Chief Executive, he wants to lower the country’s debt to 60 percent debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio by 2025.
To achieve this, the new administration will implement tax reform to further increase its collection.
The administration will also implement a digital transformation, where the national ID system will play a big role to ensure that citizens can access public services.
It also ordered agencies to distribute up to 92 million IDs by mid-2023.
In terms of health, Marcos eyes the establishment of a Center for Disease Control and Prevention and a vaccine institute, to be able to sell affordable medicine in hospitals, especially in the provinces, and to be able to closely monitor the well-being of doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel in the country.
He also said the country can’t afford to have another lockdown caused by the pandemic.
“We will not do any more lockdown. We must balance the health and welfare of our citizens on the one hand and the economy on the other,” the Chief Executive said. (PIA-NCR)