By Hanah Tabios
An independent London-based think tank said that Vice President Leni Robredo will lure more foreign investors if she replaces President Rodrigo Duterte as the country’s chief executive.
This as Capital Economics’ senior economist Gareth Leather said if President Duterte will be forced to vacate his post due to the controversies hounding his real health status.
“We don’t know much about what Ms. Robredo’s economic agenda would be if she took office, but given her fierce opposition to Duterte’s authoritarian tendencies, including his willingness to undermine political institutions, a change in president would probably be welcomed by investors,” Leather said in his recent report published last Friday.
The status of Duterte’s health has been saddled by rumors since 2016 that it is failing. Just last week, his “work from home” arrangement had raised nasty speculations among the public.
But Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo was quick to defend the President and said he was just busy with his other tasks.
Article 7 Section 12 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution stipulates that in case of serious illness of the President, the public shall be informed of the state of his health.
Section 8 also states that the Vice President-elect shall become the head of the country in case of the serving president’s death, permanent disability, and removal from office or resignation.
“Since Duterte took office, approved foreign investments have been much lower than previous years,” Leather added, citing the data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
Experts had earlier claimed that the alleged human rights violations in the country in relation to the state-sponsored killings were making foreign investors reluctant to engage business in the Philippines.
But early this year, Malacanang averred that accusations about extra-judicial killings (EJKs) were never an issue with foreign investors.
The report also said that the current administration “had not been a disaster for the economy”, which also points out the President’s massive popularity “that enabled him to pass reforms that might not have otherwise made it through Congress.”