NOMURA Global Research on Monday reiterated that presidential candidate Vice-President Maria Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo is more market-friendly than her main political rival after a group of local economists backed the opposition bet, citing her pandemic recovery program and good governance platform. 

“This is consistent with our view that Robredo is viewed by the private sector as the more market-friendly candidate, given her national experience and her strategy to boost the recovery from the pandemic,” Nomura Global Research said. 

More than 160 economists, including five former socioeconomic planning secretaries, recently endorsed Ms. Robredo’s candidacy, saying her solid economics and legal background will be “necessary for crafting policies to accelerate economic recovery.” 

“In addition, the economists highlighted her proven track record of hands-on leadership and good governance,” Nomura said. 

Ms. Robredo’s main rival, the late dictator’s son Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr., is still leading pre-election surveys. 

Nomura said frontrunner Mr. Marcos is likely benefiting from the popularity of her running mate, presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Caprio, citing latest survey results. 

A recent survey conducted by Pulse Asia, Inc. from Jan. 19 to 24 showed that Mr. Marcos widened his lead against Ms. Robredo, with an approval rating of 60% versus the opposition bet’s 16%, up from 53% in the survey in early December. 

“Marcos, Jr. appears to be enjoying broad-based support, according to the survey results,” Nomura said. 

London-based think tank Capital Economics said in a report last week the country’s situation is “unlikely to improve” and “could easily get worse” under Mr. Marcos’s administration. “What we do know about him is far from encouraging.” 

It noted that Mr. Marcos has refused to participate in traditional pre-election debates. “We know nothing about his plans to help the economy recover from the pandemic, on fiscal policy or how to improve the business environment.” 

The group also said Mr. Marcos has a poor legislative track record.

Meanwhile, labor leader and presidential candidate Leodegario “Ka Leody” de Guzman said on Monday that he would increase teachers’ pay if he wins.

“If police officers can have their salaries doubled, why can’t we help our teachers, who shape our future leaders’ minds, and prepare those 

who will contribute to society,” Mr. de Guzman said at the Radyo Veritas Catholic E-Forum in Filipino on Monday.

Mr. De Guzman also said he plans on allocating more funds for building schools to bring teachers closer to their place of work and their communities. 

“Teachers won’t have to cross great lengths like rivers and valleys to serve our youth,” he said. 

“That’s a welcome statement and knowing that Ka Leody has consistently championed the welfare of the working people, including those in government service,” Benjo Basas, head of Teacher’s Dignity Coalition, said in a Facebook messenger chat.

“I am sure that he is sincere about this. We look forward to the same commitment from other candidates and we’ll soon challenge them to put it in writing,” he added. 

Mr. De Guzman also reiterated his labor-first platform with his plan to empower farmers and workers by addressing issues on wages and shifting away from past administrations’ focus on the success of big businesses. 

He noted that he is not anti-capitalist but is against prominent companies monopolizing industries at the expense of workers. 

“The prominent businessmen are so rich that the country’s wealth is concentrated among them, they will never run out of wealth,” he said. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza and John Victor D. Ordonez