The Philippines has shifted its focus from recovering post-pandemic to transforming its economy, which would increase local production and bring in more investment, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said on Wednesday.

Speaking during the 10th Asia Summit in Singapore, President Marcos recalled the lessons the Philippines has taken from the COVID-19 pandemic, including the need to increase local agricultural produce and reduce dependence on imports.

“The pandemic showed us that this was not a wise choice to have made and so we have continued to develop our agricultural sector and the aspiration once again is that we are able to provide a sufficient supply of food at prices that people can afford,” Marcos said. 

The President acknowledged that the Philippines has yet to achieve its goal, but is already gradually putting itself in a position to be more food-sufficient, and stressing support to producers, research and development, and other stakeholders in the market.

The chief executive also discussed the need to beef up the manufacturing capabilities of the country, which would require capital investments coming from foreign investors.

Marcos also noted the administration’s efforts to seek inputs from the private sector to ensure that the country has a more conducive business environment for foreign investors. 

“This brings us to why we have now come here and have been going around the world not only to tout the changes that we have had in the Philippines but also to ask what is it that you think you need so that the Philippines becomes an investment-friendly place,” he said.

Among the issues that the Philippines is facing is the insufficient supply of electricity in all its islands, which President Marcos said would need investors so that the use of renewable sources of energy can be pursued.

The President also mentioned the amended policies on ease of doing business in the country. | PND