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Marcos lists8k8 com casino tackling inflation as priority

法国年古剑被人从悬崖上拔走 | 8k8 com casino | Updated: 2024-07-24 14:57:56

Protesters from labor groups carrying placards asking the government for a minimum wage hike of 150 pesos (about $2.5), march toward the Congress of the Philippines during a demonstration coinciding with the State of the Nation Address in Manila on Monday. TED ALJIBE/AFP

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr marked his third year in office by emphasizing his administration's moves toward combating inflation, poverty and joblessness, the key concerns of most Filipinos, and also a ban on offshore gaming operators.

"The hard lesson of this last year has made it very clear that whatever current data proudly bannering our country as among the best-performing in Asia, means nothing to a Filipino, who is confronted by the price of rice at 45 to 65 pesos ($0.77 to $1.11) per kilo," Marcos said in his State of the Nation Address delivered on Monday.

Rice is a staple food in the Philippines, and it became the world's largest rice importer in 2023. Marcos said the government will strive to curb food price increases by boosting production, and providing seeds and post-harvest facilities to farmers.

Marcos, who delivered the speech after the opening of the 19th Congress, also declared that "effective today, all POGOs (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators) are banned". He instructed the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation to wind down and cease all POGO operations by the end of the year.

Marcos said this was in response to the public clamor against POGO.He said that POGOs, "disguising as legitimate entities", have ventured into illicit areas such as financial scamming, money laundering, prostitution, human trafficking and murder.

"The grave abuse and disrespect to our system of laws must stop," he said.

This year's address was delivered in the third year of his six-year tenure and just a few months ahead of the crucial midterm elections in May 2025. The midterm polls are considered a referendum on the current administration.

Michael Ricafort, chief economist at Rizal Commercial Banking, said the government needs to strictly enforce price laws to ensure compliance in all commercial outlets so that the public can benefit from lower prices.

Anna Rosario Malindog-Uy, vice-president of the Manila-based think tank Asian Century Philippines Strategic Studies Institute, welcomed the banning as it "is a social menace and a milking cow for some people".

Reuben Mondejar, professor at the IESE Business School in Spain, said the Philippine government needs to do a balancing act because POGOs are "a source of local employment on the one hand but has high social and ethical costs".

Ricafort said the banning of POGO signals good governance, encouraging more investments in the country.

Marcos said his administration will work to reduce poverty rates by promoting investment-led growth.

"We have set in motion policies and programs to create an environment conducive for businesses to thrive, like reforms in the capital markets, and implementation of 'green lanes'," he said.

Marcos said the government has "green-lane certified" around a hundred projects with a total investment of about 3 trillion pesos across the sectors of renewable energy, digital infrastructure, food security, and manufacturing.

On foreign policy, Marcos said peace and community-building will remain the Philippines' clarion call, especially when the country serves as chair and the host of the ASEAN Summit in 2026.

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