The inaugural address of the 17th president of the Republic of the Philippines, Ferdinand Romualdez R. Marcos Jr., emphasized the transformative power of hope, as he said, “Your hope is my hope.” It also resounded with the call for unity, which he credited as the message that propelled him to garner the biggest mandate in the country’s electoral history.
Though it was inevitable to miss out some issues because of the limitation of a 30-minute speech, nevertheless it gave the nation a preview of what a Marcos presidency will shape like. Contrary to critics who said that the speech was vague, Marcos laid out some initial plans with regard to education, agriculture, OFWs, climate change, tourism, healthcare, and foreign policy.
With education and OFWs, he specifically mentioned two Cabinet members by name, Vice President Sara Duterte who will take up the education portfolio, and an Ople —Susan Ople — who will lead the newly created Department of Migrant Workers. With the environment, he vowed that “we will clean up;” with foreign policy, he said, “we seek friendship with all;” while for agriculture, he stressed that “food sufficiency must get the preferential treatment.” There are still more plans to be unveiled in the coming days and names announced for top positions in various departments; we then hope to see a fully functioning administration before the President’s State of the Nation Address this month, especially as the pandemic is still upon us and the typhoon season brings with it a myriad of challenges.
On the part of Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion III, he echoed the sentiments of the country’s small businessmen when he said that the inaugural speech “moved” them.
“President Marcos spoke of the people’s dreams being his own dreams, of wishing for a better life in a safer, more prosperous country. I think that resonated deeply with our country’s small entrepreneurs,” Concepcion said. “I could feel his sincerity and determination to bring a better life for all of us.”
Concepcion is optimistic that the President’s plan to prioritize agriculture and to promote self-sufficiency will mean unprecedented assistance for the country’s farmers, many of whom are self-employed agripreneurs. “Given the many challenges we are facing today, I agree with the President that the sooner we start, the surer and quicker the prospect of achieving our goals for the future.”
The inaugural address of any president sets the path and tone of the administration. This early, people are hopeful as they felt the empathic drive of Marcos to lift the nation out of the economic doldrum and the clutch of the pandemic. After all, Marcos said he owes the nation a “debt of gratitude for the honor and responsibility conferred on him.”
“You have other responsibilities to carry but I will not spare myself from shedding the last bead of sweat or giving the last ounce of courage and sacrifice,” the President said in conclusion..
Yes, Mr. President. We pin our hopes on you this day forward as you also have 110 million reasons to succeed. May your words turn into action and motivate us to “put our shoulders to the wheel and give that wheel a faster turn to repair and to rebuild” our nation. May we all see a future where no Filipino is afraid, where no Filipino is deprived of food and shelter, and where no Filipino is hopeless in an ever changing world.