Stumbling and getting up

IN a landscape of toxicity and mistrust, how do you begin to govern? First is putting together a team of professionals whose sole purpose in recruitment is to be of assistance to the leader, to provide systems and approaches to solve problems, to work as a team so the leader can attend to the macro needs while the details are ironed out.

IN a landscape of toxicity and mistrust, how do you begin to govern? First is putting together a team of professionals whose sole purpose in recruitment is to be of assistance to the leader, to provide systems and approaches to solve problems, to work as a team so the leader can attend to the macro needs while the details are ironed out.

Correctly put, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. won at 58 percent, or 31 million, but he is leader to 110 million Filipinos. The more his team looks at the 110 million, the better for all since the six years need to be years of gain so that the six years of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte are 12 years of continuity, a strengthened Philippines. And we thought these six years would be continuity — the good programs made better and the problematic, ironed out and made better.

At Day 82, the 17th is still trying to put together his team. I doubt very much if it is the best and brightest, but we will let that be so long as problems are attended to, service made better, and governance is moving. On October 8, the Marcos administration will reach its 100th day in office without any programs launched. The economic cluster is busy with the National Expenditure Program (NEP) and the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework (MIFF), but all the macroeconomic assumptions have been thrown out the window because of inflation and the global meltdown due to other events happening in key regions of the world.

What we can control is our country. What we need to protect are our marginalized communities where a safety net is needed as we recover from the pandemic and ably assist our MSMEs. How do you bring the economy up? Not back because certainly, we cannot go back to the previous state of things. That is why retooling and reskilling are vital to make our economy resilient and the public sector agile. The private sector can take care of itself, except probably on the issue of power/electricity. We cannot grow economically unless we attend to the energy mix. Clearly, when the whole nation is focused on an executive secretary and his amalgamation of unwarranted powers, there is something wrong somewhere.

Why did you run for public office? What will the team pull together? What matters most? What are the programs of the eight-point social agenda of President Marcos? The hows are important because then milestones can be made across the term. If you look at the eight-point social agenda, you can reduce it down to six: jobs, purchasing power, health, fiscal management, public order and safety, and competition. Among the six, what can be continued from PRRD? Public order and safety underpin competition. So, why are we not looking in that direction?

In the first 100 days, we saw history in the making with the opening of the Bangsamoro parliament last September 15. That would have been a shining moment for this administration but again, the communication machinery of the government failed to mark this major event. What was historic? Nur Misuari of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) was present, and that momentous occasion had deeper meaning than the event itself. Again, communication failed to see the relevance of a Marcos and a Misuari with Ebrahim in one frame. What was history for a Marcos on Southern Philippines? A properly prepared event is good for three days' news spread

Then there is a narrative to share with the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), most especially on poverty alleviation. Per the Philippine Statistical Authority, BARMM has "recorded the most significant reduction in poverty incidence among families, from 55.9 percent in 2018 to 29.8 percent in 2021." That is a silver lining in the horizon so, continuing the narrative, what will the Marcos administration do to sustain and even up the performance in his term? Ebrahim has set it concretely, "No Bangsamoro child left behind and produce at least one professional per family." Concrete and with clear objective for BARMM.

In President Marcos, there are three points that can be meshed up to a major storyline, but it means emphasizing key drivers in the presidency today: being a Marcos, continuity of PRRD and the definitive BBM. Being a Marcos is like a monomyth, broken down to departure, initiation and return. The continuity of PRRD lies in carrying through the six years what worked and what changes were supported by the people. The five landmark Duterte administration programs earned a majority support under the Pahayag Quarter 2 (PQ2)-2022 survey: Build, Build, Build at 79 percent, continuation of the war on drugs (73 percent), continuation of independent foreign policy (68 percent), BARMM transition (64 percent), and continuation of NTF-Elcac (56 percent).

What is a definitive BBM storyline? What are changes that are uniquely his? What can he owe? He seems to be focused more on the macroeconomy, leaving the micro to his Cabinet. Who then sews the quilt in the process and provides the story of a nation wanting to get out of the rut and hoping that poverty can indeed be dealt with by the end of Marcos' term of office?

Yes, PRRD and PBBM are two different leaders coming from separate epochs and background. One was an underachiever and underperformer in his academic years while the other grew up in an upper lip background, detached and snooty. People can relate to Duterte being seen as one of them while Marcos is the son of Ferdinand E. Marcos, living under his shadow and often compared to his father. People do not see PBBM as one of them but loved because of the late PFEM. Yet when thrust into the position, leaders wield the baton and get things done. No role-playing. No playacting but getting things done — action than words. Felt, not contrived.

People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care and that defined PRRD. People felt his presence. People felt his anger. People felt his impatience. Churchill said, "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened."

Mr. President, the country is bigger than any person in your Cabinet. "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." We have rolled up our sleeves waiting for you since Day One. The 100 days is about to be over. Never mind the enemies. Stand up for something sometime in your life and let that be country. Let us make history.

 

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