What the Presidentiables Said They Would Do During The 2022 Elections

If elected president, these candidates promise to implement the following measures.

All 2022 presidential bets minus Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. participated in the first live and in-person debate since the filing of candidacies.

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The CNN Philippines 2022 Presidential Debate was held at the University of Santo Tomas on February 27.

Participants included Ernesto Abella, Norberto Gonzales, Leody de Guzman, Senator Ping Lacson, Faisal Mangondato, Jose Montemayor Jr., Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Senator Manny Pacquiao, and Vice President Leni Robredo.

These candidates were asked about their COVID-19 response, the Philippine economy, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the West Philippine Sea, and their concrete plans for their first days in office should they be elected into office, among other relevant issues.

Here’s how the presidentiables fared in the Sunday debate.

Debate Highlights

All candidates were held accountable for their whereabouts during the days, weeks, and months following the initial COVID-19 lockdown.

Robredo, the only female candidate, further stood out with her faster talking pace as she listed specific activities of the Office of the Vice President.

These include collaboration with medical experts for information dissemination, distribution and production of personal protective equipment, launching of shuttle buses, provision of dormitories, and implementing various initiatives like Bayanihan E-skwela, Bayanihanapbuhay, Bayanihan E-konsulta, and Swab Cab.


Although Lacson came prepared in terms of platform and experience, he encountered difficulty in the debate’s time constraints since the answering format was limited to a minute and a half.


Moreno faced heat over unspent funds in his 2022 election campaign, while Pacquiao struggled to explain his stance against same-sex civil unions and divorce.

First Plans Of Action

Moderator Pinky Webb asked candidates how fast Filipinos would feel the impact of their leadership if they became president. Here’s how they responded.

Abella: We want to balance the participation of civil society. We’re making sure that within the first 100 days that there is definitely the participation of civil society. They would participate in local government… We want to invite them to look after law enforcement, after trades… We are going to invite them and truly participate in local government and to make sure that they are felt in terms of health, education, and also corruption.

Lacson: First, I don’t believe in deadlines. But on my first day of office, I will sign a waiver of my rights under the Bank Secrecy Act that will set the tone of my presidency. In the first 100 days, I will do an internal cleansing of the inept, corrupt, and undisciplined government officials and employees.

Mangondato: My first step once seated as president is to put the government on autopilot. What does this mean? Like an airplane, it flies even without the pilot. What this means is professionals with civil service will be in charge of the government. They are the undersecretaries with securities of tenure, experience, and on duty since the past administrations.

Montemayor: We will plan to reduce unemployment from 9 million to 3.4 million, pre-pandemic levels. For job creation, we will be dynamic with that for our workers, true and faithful to workers.

Pacquiao: One, two, three months into service, I am preparing my plan to build a mega prison, since I want to see thieves in government behind bars. I want to scrutinize each agency of the government. I will have all of these audited from the national government down to the local government, because that’s the only way to effect true change, wealth, and development of our country.

Robredo: We promise noble and quality jobs for all. Poverty wouldn’t be an obstacle for our children to attain a quality education. When we fall ill, our government will be there to care for us. But all of these promises aren’t possible if our government isn’t transparent. On my first day as president, I would enact an Executive Order for full disclosure. Meaning to say all government offices and instrumentalities are required to make public all public transactions.

Gonzales: I can promise that during my first year in office, we would begin talks to revise our Constitution. We will assess if we need to become a parliamentary system.

De Guzman: The first thing I would do is to implement a labor-first policy. I would end contractualization and order the closure of all non-power agencies.

Domagoso: People first. Life and livelihood, in the first two years.

Banner Photo by CNN Philippines via YouTube screenshot

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