Election results (2)

PHILIPPINES - In Brief 15 May 2019 by Romeo Bernardo

A reader asked us what are the implications of Monday’s election results which we outlined yesterday. Offhand, we say that they clearly give President Duterte greater control of the legislative agenda moving forward. The hope is that he will use his political capital to more forcefully back up Finance Secretary Dominguez so that more economic reforms are pushed through congress quickly. Secretary Dominguez is the man to watch. He is politically savvy and will likely use the next 1-2 years to move vigorously on reform, knowing that the last year/ year and a half is lost to politics. He will also be key in fighting more wasteful populist measures and a revival of proposals for federalism. In the near-term, his priority will be the remaining packages of his tax reform program, starting with raising sin taxes and restructuring corporate taxes. The fear is that given this President’s temperament, there is fairly high risk that he will push ahead with his more contentious political/justice related reforms that are socially divisive.

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