Salceda issues appeal to voters mere days before polls

In what can be described as his last-minute appeal before the polls, Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Salceda asked Filipinos on Thursday, May 5 to pick leaders who can "competently handle" the country’s upcoming fiscal and economic challenges.

Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Salceda (File photo/ MANILA BULLETIN)

"Evidently, supply chain disruptions and higher input costs almost across the board will continue to cause higher prices, and I expect little if any let up in the coming months," said Salceda, chairman of of the House Committee on Ways and Means.

"The Ukraine crisis will continue to impact the prices of bread, fuel, and even fertilizers due to its proximity with Belarus, a leading source of fertilizer ingredients. Palm Oil supply issues will also persist, likely into June, with implications on cooked products as well as animal feed," he said.

Salceda said these price pressures "will drive up inflation expectations among investors...That may result in higher borrowing costs for the government and higher profitability hurdle rates for businessmen".

"Combined, these downward pulls on private and government spending could have implications on jobs growth and recovery.

"This is why, on May 9 (election day), we should elect leaders who can competently handle both inflation and growth challenges. Necessarily, they must inspire investor confidence, be well advised by an experienced and competent team, and have enough popular mandate to enact needed changes," the economist-solon reckoned.

"The priorities of the next Congress must also be both medium term and structural changes to resolve the food security challenges that make us so vulnerable to food and fuel price developments abroad," he noted.

At any rate, Salceda promised to "brief the next President, whomever they may be, about what I believe are necessary steps forward".

"Make no mistake--we are in danger of getting caught in a low-growth, high-inflation bind. Though still a remote possibility, it will become more real if the next administration makes early mistakes," he said.

Salceda, a stalwart of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) party, had earlier endorsed Vice President Leni Robredo for the president and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte for vice president.