Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Marcos Virtually Meets With NEDA Chief Balisacan

Marcos Virtually Meets With NEDA Chief Balisacan

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President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. met with Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan via teleconferencing on Wednesday.

A short video of Marcos’ meeting with Balisacan was uploaded on state-run Radio Television Malacañang’s (RTVM) official Facebook page.

Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez and Presidential Management Staff (PMS) Secretary Maria Zenaida Angping were also present during the meeting.

Apart from Marcos, who attended virtually, all officials held the meeting at the Premier Guest House at Malacañang Palace.

The meeting comes after Pulse Asia’s June 2022 national survey showed that most Filipinos view controlling the inflation rate in the country as an urgent concern that needs to be prioritized.

“Amidst the spiraling cost of basic commodities, a small majority of Filipino adults (57 percent) say the new national administration must immediately take steps to control inflation,” Pulse Asia said.

The survey also showed 45 percent of respondents identified increasing the pay of workers as the next issue that Filipinos want to be addressed followed by reducing poverty (33 percent), creating more jobs (29 percent) and fighting graft and corruption in the government (20 percent).

Other top issues of concern are ensuring law enforcement (15 percent), fighting criminality (14 percent), promoting peace in the country (14 percent), providing assistance to those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic (14 percent), and addressing involuntary hunger (12 percent).

It was followed by reducing the amount of taxes paid (9 percent), addressing environmental degradation (7 percent), providing support to small entrepreneurs (7 percent), territorial defense (7 percent), controlling the Covid-19 pandemic-19 (7 percent), protecting the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (5 percent) and preparing to face any kind of terrorism (3 percent).

The pollster interviewed 1,200 adults on June 24 to 27 for the poll, which had an error margin of ±2.8 points.

Earlier, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles assured Filipinos that fighting inflation is a top economic priority for the Marcos administration.

“We actually discussed inflation at the last Cabinet meeting and the President himself reported this, so he is actually ahead of the publication of the survey having anticipated this as a potential problem,” Cruz-Angeles told reporters in a text message.

The country’s headline inflation rate accelerated to 6.1 percent in June 2022 from 5.4 percent in the previous month, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported.

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the Philippines’ high inflation in June was not a problem unique to the Philippines because other countries are suffering the same problem.

He also assured that the recent acceleration of inflation will be arrested by the government through “addressing constraints in the food, energy, and transportation and logistics sectors.”

On Tuesday, Marcos also presided over his second Cabinet meeting via teleconferencing, just four days after testing positive for Covid-19.

Angeles on Wednesday said Marcos is now free from all symptoms of Covid-19 for the past two days, based on the latest health bulletin released by his personal physician, Dr. Samuel Zacate.

She said Zacate reported that the President has finished all his medications and based on clinical opinion, Marcos is ready to go back to his face-to-face engagements.

Zacate reported that “if there is no reappearance of any sign and symptoms related to Covid-19, and provided further that he has no fever” for the next 24 hours, the President can be released from isolation on July 15. (PNA)

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