Manila, Jun 30 (EFE) .- Dozens of people protested Friday in front of the Manila Presidential Palace against Philippine leader Ferdinand Marcos Jr., a year after he took office, marked by the inflation of basic food such as rice.
About 100 demonstrators gathered Friday at the gates of the Malacanang Palace in the Philippine capital, carried banners and chanted slogans blaming the Marcos Jr. government for economic uncertainty in the Philippines and high cost of living.
One of the main reasons for the complaint was the failure of Marcos Jr. to fulfill his promise to reduce the price of rice to PHP 20 per kilogram ($0.36), from the current PHP 40.
In his first year in office, Marcos Jr. has faced global inflation caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has hit his country particularly hard. Foreign energy and food dependence has weakened the purchasing power of a vulnerable population who suffered one of the longest confinements in the world during the pandemic.
“There is still a lot of work to be done” in economic matters and said that his government must “undo 30, 35, almost 40 years of neglect in regards to the agricultural sector,” he said in a Thursday speech.
Despite the fact that the country grew strongly in 2022 (7.6 percent) and will expand by 6 percent in 2023, according to the International Monetary Fund, food prices skyrocketed at the end of last year, tripling in Christmas the price of onions in Switzerland or Denmark to reach PHP 700 per kilogram.
On June 30, 2022, Marcos Jr. was sworn in as president after sweeping the election with more than 60 percent of popular support, returning the Marcos dynasty to power 36 years after his dictatorial father Ferdinand Marcos was deposed after a peaceful revolution in 1986.
The latest poll published by Pulse Asia in March gives an approval rating of 78 percent to Marcos Jr. and 82 percent to Vice President Sara Duterte, daughter of his predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte. EFE