Manila Standard : Bongbong eyes modern ports, gateways to spur progress

26 October 2021

By Vito Barcelo and Rey Requejo | Manila Standard

Modernizing the country’s existing airports, seaports and railways will increase accessibility to other gateways that will offer an unprecedented opportunity for Filipino businesses to export and import more goods and services and create quality jobs, according to presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Marcos said investing in this key area will raise the country’s import and export capacity, thus providing opportunities for local industries to recover.

If elected, Marcos wants the Philippines to become the next logistics powerhouse in Asia to accelerate the country’s economic recovery in a post-pandemic world.

“Our strategic location in the Pacific is an advantage that no other country has. It’s time for us to leverage this and aspire to become a major logistics hub in the region. To achieve this, we will need to modernize our existing seaports, airports, and railways or build new ones where necessary,” Marcos said.

The former senator also believes the increased trade generated by modernizing our seaports, airports, and railways will create a steady revenue stream for the government and sustain programs geared towards helping the poor affected by the pandemic.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said there is an uneven rate of recovery in global trade among nations. Small economies and poor countries are falling behind their peers who are posting double-digit growth rates and surpassing their pre-pandemic levels.

UNCTAD explains that one reason for the trend is that countries with small economies are more fragile than larger economies, making the impact of the pandemic even worse.

It also forecasts the value of global trade for 2021 to be 20% to 28% higher than 2019 and 2020 respectively.

“Global trade will recover soon, and we as a nation should make sure that we are in a better position to benefit from it. It will be crucial in our recovery since it can help generate revenues that we can use to continue programs to help the poor severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Marcos added.