Lacson: It's time to invest in PH's human capital

Published November 18, 2021, 4:58 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Partido Reporma chairman and standard-bearer Panfilo “Ping” Lacson on Thursday, Nov. 18 said it is time for the Philippines to invest in its human capital—its 40 million working Filipinos—so it could rise from its current “pagkalugmok” (collapse).

In the 21st membership meeting of the Rotary Club of Manila (RCM) on Thursday. RCM via teleconference, Lacson said if he is elected as President following the 2022 national elections, “we intend to address the pressing concern of everyone: Paano makakabangon ang bansa sa pagkakalugmok (how can we rise from our collapse?).’’

“Human capital” refers to the economic value of a worker’s experience and skills. The term includes assets like education, training, intelligence, skills, health, and other things employers value such as loyalty and punctuality.

According to official statistics, the country had 41.94 million people employed in 2019, which dropped to 39.38 million in 2020 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apart from advancing human capital, the key to the country’s recovery is “judicious spending,” said Lacson, a constant champion of an efficient national budget who diligently roots out anomalous appropriations in government.

A balanced budget is part of Lacson’s plan to address the country’s debt, the veteran public servant added in a wide-ranging discussion with members of the first Rotary Club in Asia established in 1919.

Lacson noted that he and running mate Vicente Sotto III “have the best track record in addressing graft and corruption” among the candidates for the May 9 national elections, adding: “We are ahead.”

The former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief also said that as President, he would lead by example and vowed that his term will not be authoritarian in nature.

Lacson admitted that he initially “did not have the appetite to run” for the presidency a second time and wanted to rest from public life, but Sotto, the Senate President, said all his years in the Senate and as a police officer made him the most prepared to tackle the country’s problems, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is reflected in their tandem’s current campaign, as Lacson vowed there would be no “entertainment politics” during their sorties as they will show people what they can expect from him and Sotto.