Bongbong Marcos in Gov't TV Interview as Rivals Debate Each Other

Bongbong Marcos' taped interview with government television PTV aired on Saturday, one hour before Comelec's live presidential debate, which he skipped.

Here's what the leading presidential candidate based on Pulse Asia's Feb. 18 to 23 poll told PTv anchor Erwin Tulfo and Communications Sec. Martin Andanar on "The Chatroom":

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  • The interview starts with food security. Marcos says Philippines must have enough supply to prevent hunger. Prices must go down by cutting cost of production.
  • Marcos says strengthening agriculture to cushion price shocks from future events like the Russia-Ukraine war
  • "If you think about poverty, unahin natin pagkain."
  • "After that you have to rebuild the economy para tama positioning natin... Lampasan natin pre-pandemic. It's a different economy. It's a different system. It's a different way of doing things."
  • "We don't only have to work hard. We have to work smart". Marcos says to look at other countries' best practices.
  • Asked if he will take inspiration from his father's Masagana 99, Marcos said "Yes"... "Hindi natin nakalimutan yun, hindi lang natin ginagamit," Marcos said, citing training for agriculture sector.
  • Marcos says agriculture must adapt to climate change. "Again, malaki tiwala ko sa Pilipino, sa mga scientist natin..."
  • Farmers should have drying, milling, marketing assistance. "Mahabang value chain yan..."
  • "You have to be able to feed the people. Yun ang pinakaimportante sa lahat."
  • Marcos says 60% of GDP is "not a bad place to be" when asked about debt policy.
  • "Kung kaya natin i-maintain yun, that's not a bad thing... Kung pasisiglahin ang ekonomiya ang kailangan natin gawin... Hindi lang gobyerno gagawa niyan. I am a great believer in partnerships between the government and the private sector."
  • Asked about healthcare, PhilHealth, Marcos said he would "absolutely" overhaul the system. "Ang healthcare system para sa atin, nagulat ako nung pinag-aaralan ko. Wala tayong pinatayong malaking government hospital since 1985. How long is that? That's too long."
  • Marcos says RHUs or regional health units can handle 80% of medical needs such as pregancies, asthma.
  • Healthcare should be brought down to regions so that people don't need to go to urban centers for treatment.
  • Asked on AI, Blockchain... "That's the future. I that that back, it's the present." Marcos said 40% without internet access is "very low".
  • "Before we talk about digitizing the government. We have to fix the basic infrastructure, the digital infrastructure." Internet access must be reliable and afforable.
  • "Parang hindi naman nararamdaman kaibahan, gaya nung dati," says Marcos on telco's promise to improve connectivity.
  • On death penalty, Marcos asked if state has authority to take a life and if capital punishment can bring down heinous crimes. "Kung papatay ka ng tao sasabihin mo may death penalty hindi ko papatayin to... Hindi mangyayari yun. I don't think the death penalty is an effective way of discouraging..."
  • On foreign policy, "Wala tayong kinakaaway. There is no need for us to be in conflict sa ibang bansa." Marcos says Philippines must "engage" when it comes on sea disputes.
  • Marcos says U.S. a "traditional ally" of the Philippines, alliance helpful for both.
  • China is also a "friend," he says. "Kailangan lang natin balansehin yan. Dapat natin isispin hindi noong Cold war na dapat mamili ka."
  • "Alalahanin mo, you don't work for Washington D.C. You don't work for Beijing. You are working for the Philippines."
  • "In specific cases like the West Philippine Sea, I can't see an alternative for engagement."
  • Marcos says divorce "called for" in some cases. However, it shouldn't be too easy. "Yung marriage you have to work on it. There are times na mahirap."
  • In some divorces, both the former partners and children are "better off", Marcos said.
  • "Huwag madali. Nag-away lang, corruption agad. Don't make it easy."
  • "Yung corruption talagang hindi matitigil 'yan. Corruption is not a Filipino condition, it's a human condition. May laging tao talagang hindi diretsong mag-isip... One of the best ways na anti-corruption na nakikita ko, i-streamline mga functions ng mga agencies ng goberyno para wala nang fixer."
  • "At the the higher level of government ang talagang kailangan, mamili ka ng magaling na tao na alam mong hindi corrupt at kung meron talagang problema, ayusin agad. No sacred cows here, if you are seen to be corrupt hahabulin ka talaga. The leadership, kailanagan mag-set ng example. Kami hindi ginagawa yan, wag nyong gagawin yan kung hindi tanggal kayo, hindi lang tanggal ikukulong namin kayo."
  • Marcos is asked about criticism. "Natural yan, lalong-lalo ngayon kampanya."
  • "Lahat naman yan natanong yan. Nasagot na namin yan."
  • Marcos said he would pursue "Build, Build Build."
  • "Parang binuksan mo ang lugar pag naglagay ka ng kalsada."
  • Marcos said he would "definitely" continue the counter-insurgency agency NTF-ELCAC.
  • Marcos said President Rodrigo Duterte's endorsement will be "very important" since it will strengthen his tandem with Sara Duterte.
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