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PH transition: The Marcos Jr. Presidency in 2022
PH transition: The Marcos Jr. Presidency in 2022
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PH transition: The Marcos Jr. Presidency in 2022
by Christhel Cuazon26 December 2022
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Photo courtesy: Office of the Press Secretary Facebook Page

On June 30, the Philippines welcomed a new leader: someone who is utterly familiar with the world of politics and was a scion to a late strongman — President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr.

As he swore in as the 17th President of the country, a great transition, sowed in his echoing theme of "unity" was also embraced by the Filipinos, particularly the 31 million voters who bestowed their trust on him and his promises during the national elections.

Hounded by critics and praised by supporters, the son and namesake of his father Ferdinand Marcos Sr. officially marked his first 100 days in the office last October 8.

As the end of 2022 near, Marcos Jr. and his administration will soon embark on a full year.

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In this article, DZRH News Online would be reviewing some of the developments in his programs as well as what to expect as the year 2023 approaches.

Duterte to Marcos transition

It is no surprise that when Marcos won by a great margin last May, it also marked the end of the Duterte era.

And when he officially stepped down from his post on June 30, Marcos automatically inherited the problems and shortcomings of his successor.

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Among those were the worsening impunity, the ugly reality of the Philippines' justice system, the PHP 12.79 trillion debts, the controversial drug war, and others.

First 100 days

"Your dreams are mine. Your hopes are my hopes. How can we make them come true? How can we do it together? But I will take it as far as anyone with the same faith and commitment can as if it depended entirely on himself.”

In his first speech as the country's President, Marcos Jr. made some key points, among which mirrors some of his campaign promise with his then-running mate and now Vice President Sara Duterte.

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Among those was the promise of bringing the price of rice to PHP 30-PHP 20 per kilo.

However, as of writing, rice prices remain high in the Philippines due to a lack of local production.

In his speech during the nationwide launch of “Kadiwa ng Pasko” in Mandaluyong City last month, Marcos said there is a lot of work still needed to do to reach that price. However, he assured that the government is now 'close' to achieving its goals.

"Palapit na tayo dun sa aming pangarap na mag-Php 20 [per kilo of rice] pero dahan-dahan lang. Aabutin din natin yan," said Marcos, who also sits as the Agriculture chief.

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In November, Marcos spearheaded the return of Kadiwa stores, which allows farmers, fishers, and microentrepreneurs to sell their products directly to consumers amid the rising prices of commodities in the country.

The President likewise mentioned the shortcomings in the COVID-19 response of his predecessor, former president Rodrigo Roa Duterte. At the time, he vowed to 'fix' this issue.

So far, Marcos Jr. has launched a nationwide campaign that urges the public to get their booster shots for COVID-19. This remains one of the current administration's struggles as the number of individuals who willingly submit themselves to it is still low, as of writing.

And more than 100 days in the office, the Chief Executive has yet to name his Health Secretary.

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Marcos also vetoed at least five bills during his first few days in office among those was the measure creating the Bulacan Airport City Special Economic Zone and Freeport covering the New Manila International Airport.

During his first SONA, Marcos vowed to continue and expand the "Build, Build, Build" program, the flagship infrastructure program of the Duterte administration.

Changes in the Cabinet

Even before his inauguration, Marcos Jr. has been praised by several personalities, including his former presidential rival, former Senator Panfilo 'Ping' Lacson for his "competent and qualified" choices of Cabinet members and economic team.

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It was notable that among the first ones he appointed were his longtime chief-of-staff and spokesperson Vic Rodriguez as Executive Secretary and Trixie Cruz-Angeles as his Press Secretary.

But, as of writing, both individuals are no longer connected with the current administration.

They were both replaced by retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin and Undersecretary Cheloy Garafil, respectively.

And while most of them got a nod from the Commission on Appointments (CA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) chief Erwin Tulfo seems like passing through the eye of a needle after his appointment was bypassed due to the question on his citizenship and his four counts of libel conviction.

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If the President wants him to remain in the position, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said he needs to be reappointed. The Palace remains mum on this issue, as of writing.

What awaits in 2023

While the Office of the President has yet to release its full plans for 2023, here are some of the notable bills and programs that Filipinos should look into in the upcoming year.

Deemed as a new beginning of a full year in the office, the Marcos administration would be putting on to good use the recent passing of the national budget.

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On December 16, Marcos Jr. signed the PHP 5.2-trillion 2023 General Appropriations Bill. In his speech after the signing of the measure, Marcos regarded the budget as a “fine Christmas gift.”

Echoing the words of House Speaker Martin Romualdez, Marcos said this is the "fastest" passage of the national budget so far.

The P5.268-trillion 2023 national budget will help the administration achieve its commitments, specifically in implementing the Agenda for Prosperity to sustain growth, generate economic activities and jobs, and increase income for Filipinos.

Another is the passage of the controversial Maharlika Investment Fund in the lower house.

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Amid the criticisms, Congress approved the measure on the third and final reading last December 15. The measure was passed in only 15 days after it was filed by Romualdez last Nov. 28.

The measure aims to create a sovereign wealth fund that will be utilized by the national government for investments.

The overall investment returns or the money that will be reaped will be allocated for government programs and long-term projects such as dams, electric grids, and among others.

In the explanatory note of the bill, the proponents also stated that the passage of the MIF is essential in order to achieve the economic goals of the Marcos administration.

Earlier this month, the President also hinted at making "Kadiwa ng Pasko" a national program that will continue to provide access to lower-priced goods even after the holiday season.

As the Agriculture Secretary, President Marcos spearheaded the return of Kadiwa stores in November, which allows farmers, fishers, and microentrepreneurs to sell their products directly to consumers amid the rising prices of commodities in the country.

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