Analyst finds presl bets wanting

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Dagupan City, Pangasinan: They may have been able to answer the questions asked during the third and last presidential debate but none of the candidates eyeing the presidency succeeded in saying how he or she will implement the programs or solutions to the country’s problems, Edmund Tayao, a political analyst, said.

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The political science professor at the University of Santo Tomas said the presidential aspirants failed to say how they will carry out their programs of government.

“It could be either because they thought it’s enough to just play on what they think is popular but also because two minutes aren’t enough time for them to do so,” he told The Manila Times.

Tayao said he barely heard a concrete policy approach from any of the candidates.

“Pity the candidates relied on the usual ‘dole-out’ approach to practically all the issues.

Barely did I hear a concrete policy approach from any of them. e.g., it’s right to address the day-to-day challenges fisherfolk face because of the West Philippine Sea issue, but they practically skirted the more important, long-term diplomacy issue,” he said.

“Should we sustain the current route which is to stick to a rules-based, international law, and therefore multilateral approach? Or shift to a bilateral, one-on-one approach? If they answered the latter, to me, that would essentially mean they’re pro China. So perhaps they were avoiding a more categorical position on it,” he added.

Tayao said it was the same when the candidates were asked about the health issue.

“Even if, say all of us will now be covered by Philhealth, the question is if there are hospitals in the countryside where one can go when needed and use the ‘coverage.’ This could be addressed only by assessing the state of devolved functions like health,” he said.
However, Tayao commended the presidential candidates for their grasp of the traffic issue.

“All of them understands the urgent need for a mass transport system. The question though is how they’d operationalize it given the public sector’s perennial problem on funding. The PPP should have been mentioned at least and its failure to address the funding problem of the government,” he said, referring to the government’s flagship Public-Private Partnership program.

REINA TOLENTINO

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