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The leader we need now


It is projected that almost 600 million people will continue to face hunger in 2030, according to the United Nations in its State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report 2023. 


The number is about 119 million more than in a scenario in which neither the pandemic nor the war in Ukraine had occurred. This only means that achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target to eradicate hunger has become even more challenging. 


In fact, after coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic, the world is now facing a food crisis that has been aggravated by several factors, such as geopolitical tensions, extreme weather events, the emergence of El Niño, and climate change.


In the Philippines, to cushion the impact of these stressors on our own food security and overall economic growth, the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (PBBM)is making the necessary structural changes, including adjustments in fiscal, monetary and spending policies.

 

S&P affirms PH’s credit rating


Last month, US-based S&P Global credit rating agency affirmed its “BBB+” long-term and “A-2” short-term sovereign credit ratings on the Philippines. 


S&P Global noted the Philippines’ above-average economic growth potential compared to its peers, which will be supported by stable macroeconomic fundamentals driven by the government’s sound macroeconomic policy and fiscal consolidation strategy through the country’s first-ever Medium-Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF), which was crafted by PBBM’s economic team within his administration’s first month in office.


S&P Global emphasized that, “The stable outlook reflects our expectation that the Philippine economy will maintain healthy growth rates and the fiscal performance will materially improve over the next 24 months.”


Meanwhile, recent data showed a slowdown in the country’s inflation and improvement in employment figures.


In the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data early this month, there is a dip in inflation numbers to 4.1 percent from 4.9 percent the previous month.


Moreover, October labor force numbers also saw a slip in unemployment rate to 4.2 percent, primarily due to increase in jobs generated in the tourism-related sector, as well as in the information technology-business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) sector.

 

Bracing for El Niño


The President has also mandated all relevant government agencies to ensure that all necessary programs are in place to mitigate the impact of the El Niño phenomenon.

He said that the government will implement fiscal measures to cushion the impact of El Niño phenomenon in the country in addition to other strategies to be carried out by the administration. 


PBBM made an assurance that the government will continue to explore all possibilities for the continuous distribution of water to ensure that lands remain fertile and productive.


He stressed the importance of irrigation, because with better water source, farmers could increase the number of cropping season to three, which could increase production immediately by 30 percent.


Recently, the President led the turnover of ₱776 million worth of excavators as he called on the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) to assess farmers’ needs to accelerate the construction of irrigation facilities from existing water sources.


He also assured that the country can maintain good food buffer stock until early next year.  


The leader we need now


The beginning of the third decade of the 21st century had us grappling with the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. It has completely changed the way we live.And while the pandemic is over, its impacts have been bolstered by other global issues. The world continues to face challenges that would be critical to our development goals. Now more than ever, it is crucial to have a leader who understands the complexities of our nation and is committed to steering us toward progress and unity. 


It is timely that we have PBBM — a leader with unwavering dedication to public service and forward-thinking vision, the kind of leader that our country needs now.

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