MANILA, Philippines – In his first speech because the seventeenth President of the Republic, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. made a promise: He’d “get it executed.”
Touching – however not expounding on – his father, the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos’ reminiscence, the second Marcos president added: “I as soon as knew a person who noticed what little had been achieved since independence, in a land of individuals with the best potential for achievement; and but they have been poor. However he bought it executed; typically with the wanted assist; typically with out. So will it’s together with his son. You’ll get no excuses from me.”
There’s a lot on the road for President Marcos, the primary majority-elected President within the post-EDSA Revolution period.
First, the massive mandate for his win additionally means nice expectations from a majority of Filipinos.
Second, Marcos inherited a Philippines wildly completely different from his predecessor culturally however extra urgently, economically. Whereas the pandemic state of affairs will not be as dire because it was in 2020, the consequences of over a 12 months of lockdowns and different exterior components – Russia’s battle on Ukraine, amongst different issues – has meant the financial disaster is high of thoughts for all Filipinos.
Lastly, there’s the legacy that’s each been a boon and bane for one Bongbong Marcos Jr. That he enters Malacañang because the son of the late dictator means he’s at all times had a gradual military of loyalists but in addition that there’s a bit of a inhabitants who – and rightly so – despair and reject the second rise of the Marcos title.
How did the brand new president do in his first week?
Preliminary, ongoing delays
Even because the pomp and pageantry of the inauguration grabbed most headlines on June 30, there have been issues that have been manifestly not as well-ironed out. Upon assuming the publish as the brand new president of the Philippines, Marcos was with out key officers in his Cupboard: a overseas affairs secretary at a time when the worldwide order continues to shift, a well being secretary in the course of a pandemic, an power chief throughout an oil disaster, and chiefs of the science and expertise, housing, and surroundings portfolios.
It will not be till July 1 when the Palace would announce that Marcos had lastly picked a brand new Secretary of Overseas Affairs: the veteran diplomat Enrique Manalo. He was thought of amongst Marcos’ greatest pics in his Cupboard.
Rappler Information Editor Paterno Esmaquel III famous that Manalo’s appointed was “important” as a result of “profession diplomats, who underwent grueling exams and mastered diplomacy – a fancy subject that requires information of historical past, politics, and worldwide relations – have at all times wished one in every of their very own to steer the overseas service.” More moderen picks to be the nation’s chief diplomat alongside the President included businessmen and politicians.
Marcos additionally didn’t convene his Cupboard till Tuesday, July 5 – and nonetheless, with out heads of the well being, power, science and expertise, surroundings, and housing portfolios, amongst others.
Fast too was Marcos in restructuring the forms as he deemed match. Government Orders 1 and a pair of targeted on abolishing sure companies, rearranging the command construction, and streamlining workers assist techniques within the Palace.
Most notable was his resolution to abolish the Presidential Anti-Corruption Fee, a (re)creation of former president Rodrigo Duterte.
“[The PACC] will not be consistent with streamlining. Initially, its nature is investigative, which may also be carried out by the Workplace of the Ombudsman,” Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles would go on to clarify in a press briefing on July 8, or greater than per week after these EOs have been launched.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr convenes his Cupboard for the primary time on July 5 to deal with the economic system and the return to face-to-face courses.
Hitting the bottom working
Lacking officers apart, the Marcos administration was clear on its priorities, even forward of its first Cupboard assembly. The President himself had chosen to take over the agriculture portfolio – a dangerous and daring alternative on his half, particularly due to the intestine difficulty that’s starvation.
Meals insecurity has at all times been a difficulty within the Philippines and rising meals prices have exacerbated that downside. The President and concurrent agriculture chief simplified his division’s mission: “However it actually is simply to make sure meals provide within the Philippines at a value that’s really reasonably priced.”
The primary Cupboard assembly additionally spelled out his administration’s primary priorities: getting the economic system again on monitor, streamlining authorities, and going again to in-person courses.
In his first Cupboard assembly on July 5, the primary couple of minutes of which streamed on public broadcaster RTVM, Marcos declared that the financial crew was going to temporary the whole Cupboard earlier than the rest. In a press convention the identical day, Marcos stated subsequent to the economic system and streamlining, they tackled the long-awaited return to face-to-face courses, an effort that might be spearheaded by the Training division beneath Vice President Sara Duterte.
Most of Marcos’ dialogue on the pandemic and on transportation – two different main points within the Philippines – revolved across the eventual return to in-person courses.
Absent a well being chief, Marcos met with officers of the well being division, the Inter-Company Process Drive for the Administration of Rising Infectious Illnesses, and Philhealth to debate vaccination plans. He additionally met with power officers and the “Non-public Sector Advisory Council” for agriculture.
On July 6, Marcos acquired China’s State Councilor and Overseas Minister Wang Yi at Malacañang – the primary official go to beneath the Marcos administration. The brand new president had earlier met with high diplomats and completely different international locations’ heads of delegation for his inauguration. Wang
On July 8, Malacañang hosted a gathering of mayors and governors to debate the administration’s vaccine roll out plan in reference to the training division’s plans. Marcos himself was not capable of attend that gathering in individual, however we’ll get into that somewhat later.
If by Monday and Tuesday, authorities applications and proposals have been at top-of-mind, the weekend prior, it was photos of at the very least two events in Malacañang Palace that captivated social media.
Pictures and particulars from the Inaugural Ball made their strategy to social media – movies of visitors dancing and celebrating in Malacañang, and a memento medallion that bore the picture of Ferdinand Romauldez Marcos Jr – stirred controversy on-line.
It didn’t assist that on July 2, the Palace once more performed host to the birthday of former first woman Imelda Marcos, the President’s mom and half of the so-called conjugal dictatorship throughout the first Marcos presidency.
Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles downplayed criticism of the Inaugural Ball, calling it “a joyful however easy and conventional event.” Senator Imee Marcos, the eldest sister of the President, stated their gathering for Imelda Marcos was merely a “quite simple merienda with a small recital of previous buddies and students.”
Addressing considerations that public funds could be utilized in personal household features, Angeles added: “We guarantee you that the President will adhere to legislation and so that’s the presumption. We are going to… The President does – no directive in extra of something that’s written within the legislation.”
The constructive (check)
That Marcos needed to skip the Malacañang-hosted gathering of native chief executives wasn’t a matter of alternative however authorities protocol. Early on July 8, Friday, Angeles introduced that the Chief Government had examined constructive for COVID-19 throughout an antigen check. A subsequent RT-PCR examination confirmed that he had been reinfected with the coronavirus.
All week, Marcos had been assembly with officers, administering oaths, and fascinating in occasions, sans masks in a number of cases. His son, beginner Ilocos Norte 1st District Consultant Ferdinand Alexander Marcos, had examined unfavorable for COVID-19. The remainder of the First Household – spouse Liza and sons Simon and Vincent – have been out of city, and had not been uncovered to the President, in response to Angeles.
Testing constructive for COVID-19 additionally meant Marcos needed to skip at the very least one main occasion: the US Embassy within the Philippines’ Independence Day celebration.
On Sunday, July 10, the Palace, quoting the President’s doctor, stated Marcos “is doing properly and really a lot in steady situation.” Marcos has been isolating since testing constructive for COVID-19, following protocols set by the well being division.
However whilst he was isolating as a consequence of COVID-19, the President opened up the potential of making mask-wearing non-compulsory ought to the circumstances be ideally suited.
“So allow us to return to the thought of what we did final 12 months na magkaroon ulit ng vaccine rollout. Gawin na natin ito para makatiyak na tayo. At pagka maging matagumpay ang ating booster rollout ay makikita naman natin siguro puwede na nating ibaba ang mga alert stage, puwede na nating gawing non-compulsory ang masks,” he stated by way of teleconference throughout the July 8 assembly with native chief executives.
(So allow us to return to the thought of what we did final 12 months, having a vaccine rollout. Let’s do that so we’re certain. If our booster rollout is profitable, we are able to think about reducing alert ranges and making masking non-compulsory.) – MR