Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr: Philippines needs to transform, not recover, from economic slump

2023 May 4

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday (Thursday Manila time) said the Philippines must “transform” so as not to be left out by the global market and be part of the new world.

In his remarks during the fireside chat at the Blair House in Washington, President Marcos told US businesses that he would rather use the word “transformation” than “recovery” to keep the economy in the Philippines moving and growing after the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I do not view it as they said how do we get out of this hole? The hole that the pandemic put us in? I said: ‘Well I see it in a different way.’ I think because – that’s why I do not use “recovery”, the word recovery, I use the word transformation. Because we are not trying to recover to where we used to be. We are trying to transform ourselves to be part of the modern world,” the chief executive said.

“Now, that transformation I think will occur I think it is a grand opportunity that we have been given. Now we do not start from a blank sheet of paper but it’s close… And many, many new sectors that did not exist before. There are businesses that did not exist before that will be very dominant in the very near future,” the President added.

President Marcos pointed out that he does not want the Philippines to be back where it was in mid-2019, right before the Covid-19 hit.

“I want to be somewhere else. I want to be in the middle of the new economy, number one. I think that is important,” the President said.

Marcos said he is optimistic that the Philippines can quickly transform itself, with the help of the young workforce.

“Well, the optimism, number one, comes from our workforce. I have a 107 million population and 60 percent of that are working. And those – we have the youngest, we have the youngest I don’t know in the world but certainly in Asia,” the Philippine leader said.

“We have the youngest workforce with an average age of between 23 and 24. And they are well-trained, they speak English. And very easily, we have shown ourselves to be perfectly capable of engaging in these activities around the world.”

The chief executive said he maintains that optimism, noting it is the “right approach especially now that we are beginning to see the effects of what we have been doing to structure the economy for stronger investment and for more well-structured value chains both in the service sector and in the manufacturing sector especially.”