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After the initial euphoria from a landslide victory on promises of a building binge, more jobs, cheaper food and tax breaks, the Philippines’ new President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is finding that his populist pledges are running into reality.

The government simply lacks the fiscal space to allow tax concessions, or spend big on building bridges, roads and ports after racking up debt to help cushion the impact of the pandemic. That’s forcing Marcos Jr., the only son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, to take a different path.

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