During his second State of the Nation Address (SONA), GRP illegitimate president Marcos Jr. attempted to paint a rosy picture of progress and achievement – but his words could not be further from the truth. From corruption scandals to gross economic mismanagement, his address stands exposed as a mere web of lies.
One of the most egregious falsehoods peddled during his address is the claim of robust economic growth. Marcos Jr. boasted of impressive GDP figures and a thriving job market. Yet, official figures show that the country’s GDP performance in the last quarter was the worst in twelve years. Prior to this, the economy has been on a downward trajectory since a 7.7% growth posted in the third quarter of 2022 to 4.3% growth rate in June this year.
His claim of a booming job market is further belied by the fact that 8 out of 10 Filipino families are living in poverty. The average Filipino remains burdened by high unemployment rates and stagnant wages. The economic reality is marred by a lack of meaningful job creation, leaving many families struggling to make ends meet and pushing more and more Filipino workers to seek jobs abroad. The wealth gap continues to widen, underscoring the hollowness of Marcos Jr’s claims of economic prosperity.
Marcos Jr.'s promise of transparent governance crumbles in the face of mounting evidence of corruption. While he pledged to eradicate graft, his administration has been embroiled in scandal after scandal, the most prominent of which is the railroading of the infamous Maharlika Investment Fund. This ‘sovereign wealth fund’ stands to be the Marcos family’s single biggest source of corruption to extend favors to big bourgeois comprador business operations in exchange for political support and profit shares.
During his address, Marcos Jr. also proclaimed his “Build Better More” (short for BBM) campaign which proposes to mobilize P1.418 trillion in taxpayers’ money for the construction of 200 mega infrastructure projects and is said to bring ‘three million jobs for Filipinos.’ Aside from this campaign obviously being a lucrative source of corruption for the Marcos-Duterte clique and their cronies, whatever jobs generated from this project will be contractual and short-term. In addition, the funds that will be used for these projects will be paid for by public funds through foreign debt servicing and public-private partnerships.
If anything, Marcos Jr’s second SONA was more a showcase of smoke and mirrors than a truthful assessment of the country’s current state of affairs. Marcos Jr. can bask in the glory of his falsehoods all day long, but the reality on the ground reveals a different story: one of blatant corruption, economic distress and dire poverty for majority of the toiling Filipino masses.