With a fire lit under his belly, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. vowed on Thursday, June 30 to get the job done as chief executive–just like his late father, Ferdinand Sr. did all those decades ago.
Marcos made this promise during his inaugural speech without even uttering his father’s name. Instead, he told the 5,000-strong crowd at the National Museum in Ermita, Manila about what motivated Ferdinand Sr. as president.
“I fully understand the gravity of the responsibility that you’ve put on my shoulders. I do not take it lightly, but I am ready for the task. I will need your help. I want to rely on it; but rest assured I do not predicate success on the wide cooperation that’s needed. I will get it done,” Marcos said.
He then began making references about his father.
“I once knew a man, who saw what little had been achieved since independence, in a land of people with the greatest potential for achievement. And yet, there were poor. But he got it done. Sometimes with the needed support, sometimes without,” he said.
“So will it be with his son. You will get no excuses from me,” declared the newly-elected leader of the country.
He would again underscore his rather confident “government will deliver” mantra later in his speech as he spoke about the advantages of having q government that’s responsive to the needs of its people.
“Imagine how much more you’d achieve if government backstops instead of dictating your decisions. Always there to pick you up when you fall; giving what you need to get past a problem. Imagine if it invested in your self-empowerment to bring it closer to taking on whatever challenges come. Imagine, a country that, in almost every sense, is you. Now imagine what you and government can achieve together,” he said.
“We did it in the pandemic. We will do it again. But again, I will not predicate my promise to you on your cooperation. You have your own lives to live, your work to do — and there too I will help. Government will get as much done alone without requiring more from you. That is what government and public officials are for.
“No excuses; just deliver. It was like that, once upon a time,” Marcos further said, triggering cheers from the crowd.
In terms of infrastructure development, Marcos found a way to extol both his father and predecessor, President Duterte.
“My father built more and better roads, produced more rice than all administrations before his. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte built more and better than all the administrations succeeding my father’s,” he said.
Marcos had earlier vowed to continue Duterte’s flagship “Build, Build, Build” program.
Alluding to the divisions caused among Filipinos during this year’s elections, Marcos called on the people “put our shoulders to the wheel” for the sake of the country.
“This fresh chapter of our history, I extend my hand to all Filipinos. Come, let us put our shoulders to the wheel; and give that wheel a faster turn — to repair and to rebuild; and to address challenges in new ways; to provide what all Filipinos need; to be all that we can. We are here to repair a house divided; to make it whole and to stand strong again in the Bayanihan way, expressive of our nature as Filipinos,” he said.