Pasado ba si BBM sa ‘yo? | Balikan natin ang unang taon ni President Marcos Jr. at kung nakapag-deliver ba sya sa mga ipinangako. FACTS FIRST WITH CHRISTIAN ESGUERRA

Economist Solita “Winnie” Monsod gave a mark of 30 out of 100 to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. over his failure to address high prices of commodities, and lashed out at the appointment of disbarred lawyer Larry Gadon as anti-poverty czar.

Speaking on Christian Esguerra’s Facts First show, Monsod also said the president had done nothing significant on pressing issues such as human rights, while other promises such as  “bigger” investments in the scientific and technological sector and bringing down the price of rice to P20 pero kilo seemed “far away.” 

“He was too optimistic [to bring these prices down],” Monsod said on Friday, June 30, 2023. 

“Sugar, the first problem he faced as agriculture [secretary] ay hindi pa rin bumaba and still it’s P85/kilo. Even with the importation of sugar, hindi pa rin bumababa,” she added. “Farmers either have to increase their yields or lower the cost of production which are two different problems.”

Monsod said the promise of cheap rice was almost impossible from an economic perspective as it would almost exhaust the government’s funds to provide subsidies to farmers to lower their production costs.

Commercial rice prices remained at P40 to as high as P50 in some markets.

The economist lambasted the president for “not giving up the position of secretary of the Department of Agriculture knowing that it is a full time job of someone who actually knows how to deal with such problems.”

“He has not done a good job as agriculture secretary, and I do not know why he will not give it up to somebody who can give it their full time.”

When asked if the problem boiled down to incompetence of the president on its helm, Monsod said Esguerra “hit the nail right in the head,” adding that “someone competent [was] probably afraid to step up.”

‘The president is letting poverty grow’

Monsod criticized the appointment of disbarred lawyer Larry Gadon as adviser for poverty reduction.

“My God,” she said. “What does Larry Gadon know about poverty alleviation for god’s sake? The president should have never appointed him, something must be going on.”

Monsod said the move was “unforgivable” as addressing poverty should always be the priority of the government.

Marcos, she said, “must not be giving poverty so much importance.”

“[The president] thinks he is helping the impoverished with his Kadiwa [ng Pangulo] program,” she said. “3,000 farmers helped is not helping the majority of five to seven million farmers.”

Hindi ko alam ang pag-iisip ng presidente ng Pilipinas, parang headlines lang siya ng headlines e. But I have no idea what the cost of this program is and what the benefits are.”

‘The president does not know he is unsuccessful’

When asked if she saw tangible actions from the president in dealing with poverty, Monsod replied: “He should be appointing people that could address the problems full time […] And appointing Gadon as poverty alleviation, what an insult to the poor.”

Marcos also did not have  his priorities in order, she said. “He has been abroad [13] times and what money has come in that is directly attached to those trips? The man feels entitled.”

“The president does not know he is unsuccessful,” Monsod said. “He is that bad [as DA secretary].” Hurt Allauigan