This year’s elections represent a crossroads for the nation. Given the deeply-felt social and economic impact of the global pandemic, the incoming President must have clear plans to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 and bolster our economic recovery. Unfortunately, if polls and surveys would dictate the actual results, the country’s economic future is now in terrible jeopardy.

Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. has led electoral surveys, and this spells trouble for everyone. According to a Bloomberg poll of 28 investors and analysts, Marcos Jr. garnered a score of just 46, the second lowest among the five candidates considered. This is in stark contrast to Vice President Leni Robredo who ranked the highest among the candidates with a score of 105.

Analysts, investors, and economists can all see the red flags in a potential Marcos presidency. Bongbong is the son of the former dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. whose regime was characterized by widespread corruption, unmitigated cronyism, political instability, and economic collapse. Marcos’ campaign now relies on false propaganda about his father’s legacy and utilizes strategies of misinformation and historical revisionism to boost his image.

The son is a much inferior version of his father however, as Marcos Jr. has an unclear economic platform which depends on the empty rhetoric of ‘unity’ rather than any concrete plans or policies. Marcos Jr. also has a very poor track record: an unremarkable stint as a Senator which included his involvement in the pork barrel scam; outstanding convictions on tax evasion and ill- gotten wealth; and the last 6 years spent spreading misinformation and wasting the government’s time and resources to contest a Vice Presidential election result which he clearly lost. Marcos Jr. has also very blatantly allied himself with politicians who are embroiled in similar corruption issues as himself.

The risks associated with 6 years of a Marcos presidency include fiscal irresponsibility and corruption, ballooning debt, a down-graded credit rating, declining investment, shrinking remittances, worsening poverty, and lagging economic performance. In light of all these, it is no wonder that markets and investors are apprehensive regarding Marcos Jr.’s presidential campaign. He has shied away from Presidential debates and refuses to respond to the difficult questions. This is not the kind of leadership that inspires confidence amidst economic uncertainty.

Fortunately, surveys do not dictate the final election results. There is a more viable candidate with concrete plans and a proven track record: VP Leni Robredo.

The same analysts and investors who were surveyed showed much greater confidence in Robredo. Over 160 of the country’s top economists, as well as 500 former employees of the government’s economic agencies all support Robredo’s presidential bid.

Markets and investors are more optimistic about Robredo’s concrete plans which include honest and competent governance; improving market competition and ease of doing business; supporting micro, small and medium enterprises; providing social protection and economic stimulus measures; and beefing up the health sector to address and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the country.

Robredo’s track record also speaks for itself: experience in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government; training in the professions of law and economics; a career of serving marginalized groups and communities; adherence to the principles of transparency and accountability; and proactive measures and action steps taken during the worst moments of the pandemic.

The difference between the two candidates is clear. Marcos will bring failure and uncertainty for our economy, while Robredo represents hope and economic upliftment. Despite not leading the surveys thus far, Robredo and her supporters have momentum going into the final days of the campaign. The enthusiastic attendance during her rallies and the organic participation in campaign efforts show just how eager Filipinos are for her platform and brand of leadership. Let us use our vote to secure a better economic outlook for our country.