Marcos on 1st 100 days: ‘Putting out fires,’ ensuring functional gov’t
President Marcos said the Philippines was back on its feet and his administration already made important steps to revitalize the economy despite the pandemic, the Ukraine crisis and other global and domestic problems.
Speaking at a meeting of the Manila Overseas Press Club in Pasay City on Wednesday night in response to questions on what he had accomplished in his first 100 days in office, Mr. Marcos said it was too early to label what he had done so far as accomplishments.
“But nonetheless, I think what we have managed to do in the first 100 days is put together government which is functional and which has a very, very good idea of what we are targeting in terms of strict economic targets, for example, in terms of the numbers of growth, the numbers of the different measures, the different metrics that we are using for the economy,” Mr. Marcos said.
Early on, he said, his government started “putting out the fires,” referring to shortages in sugar, rice and fertilizer that he had to deal with as agriculture secretary.
He said he also brought in “the best and brightest” regardless of “political color” to “help and serve” in government, citing as an example his economic team led by Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, who all served past administrations.
“We are grateful for their industry and to have them in place already I think gives us a very distinct advantage as we try to transform our economy for the next few years,” Mr. Marcos said.
The President was thankful that his message of “unity” won him the elections in May after “a very strong majority made itself felt.” This had rallied both government officials and the people to solve the country’s problems, he said.
“I think that we still continue to enjoy the unifying force that the elections became,” Mr. Marcos said. He added that he had “galvanized government once again into governing” and he tried to eliminate the attitude of doing things without any effort or difficulty.
“The one thing I worry about very, very much is coasting. [It’s when we say,] ‘This is OK, this is enough. You don’t really need to attend to this anymore. It’s going to be all right. You can all go and have a holiday,’” Mr. Marcos said.
“I try very hard to put an impetus into government [by saying] ‘C’mon let’s go. We need to do these things. We haven’t very much time. We have very many difficulties. We cannot count on other countries to help us in ways that they used to be able to help us, so it is up to us,” he added.
There is also a sense of urgency that government officials now know and feel while they do their work, Mr. Marcos said.
“We have been put here to try our best to pull us out of this terrible crisis that we have just been suffering for the last two years,” he said.
Recalling his address to the United Nations last month, the President said that “we have been able to show that the Philippines is standing on its feet.”
“The Philippines has—continues to have—its aspirations and its dreams, and we are willing to do our part in making those dreams come true,” he said.
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