An assessment of Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s first 100 days in office

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. gestures as he delivers his first State of the Nation Address, in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, July 25, 2022. (Photo: Jam Sta Rosa/Pool via REUTERS)
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. gestures as he delivers his first State of the Nation Address, in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, July 25, 2022. (Photo: Jam Sta Rosa/Pool via REUTERS)

Ferdinand Marcos Jr. marks his 100th day as president of the Republic of the Philippines Friday (October 7).

With over 31 million of the voting population handing to him the seal of approval to govern, he inherited a country severely devastated by the adverse effects of the pandemic, skyrocketing prices of goods in the market due to a high inflation rate, rising unemployment rate, trillions of foreign and domestic debt, and so much more.

Although Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin said that the administration will not release an accomplishment report, some officials, including allies of the president, have already weighed in on his first 100 days.

Former President and Pampanga Second District Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, in a statement, said: “I think a president’s first 100 days serves two purposes: first, to give the nation and the world a message of confidence relative to the area of greatest concern; and second, to give the Filipino people of the leadership style of the president.”

“In President Marcos Jr.’s case, in the wake of the pandemic and global tensions in Ukraine and Taiwan, the adverse economic impact of these crises is topmost on most minds,” she added.

Arroyo said that Marcos was able to assemble an “impressive economic team that has been universally praised,” and “has projected himself well as a calm, thoughtful leader who is true to his promise to promote unity and be a president for all.”

In a speech before members of the Manila Overseas Press Club, Marcos said that his greatest achievement during his first 100 days is he was able to put up a “functional” government with “a very, very good idea” to achieve “strict economic targets,” nevermind the fact that up to now, in the middle of agricultural crises due to shortage of agricultural products, and the continuing public health concern brought by the pandemic, there is still no secretaries in the Departments of Agriculture and Health.

“We are grateful for their talent, to have them in place gives us a very distinct advantage as we try to transform our economy for the next two years,” Marcos said.

Past presidents usually publish accomplishment reports or at least try to come up with one, to show that the government the people elected is functioning well. To show the country that amid the chaotic red tape of government bureaucracy, the election and appointment of a fresh set of officials work, before it fizzles out due to systemic corruption and whatnot.

However, it seems that what Marcos has accomplished in the last 100 days, aside from being seen partying hard on numerous occasions, is putting out the flames that factions within his own government have created.

Just last week, two of his alter egos, and a chairperson of an important constitutional commission, resigned, or just simply walked out of the Palace.

He may have brought home pledges from his state visits to neighboring Southeast Asian countries, $8.5 billion in Indonesia and $6.5 billion in Singapore, and the United States where he got $3.9 billion, we have yet to see the benefits of these investments as these are only pledges, and could still be pulled out.

Bersamin, who arrived in the administration past Marcos’s 90 days in power, called the president’s first 100 days “very inspiring.”

Nada-divert lang nang kaunti because there were turbulences, but common ‘yan sa mga new administrations,” he said.

(It only gets diverted because of the turbulences, but it is common in new administrations.)

But at this point, Marcos’s “unity” should’ve already translated to more concrete socioeconomic policies, and plans to curb the rising inflation rate and shortages of goods.

Until then, it’s safe to conclude that candidate Marcos and President Marcos have not so much in common.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates. The views expressed are his own.

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