POSTSCRIPT / October 9, 2022 / Sunday


Philippine STAR Columnist

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No need to render 100-day report, but…

We see no urgent need for President Ferdinand Marcos to render a report on what he has accomplished in his first 100 days in office, the so-called “honeymoon” allowed a newly installed head of government.

President Marcos marks his 100th day as president of the Republic of the Philippines Friday (October 7). Photo: Philippine Information Agency

In Marcos’ case anyway, with the unrelenting criticisms from woke watchers, it was hardly a honeymoon. Besides, most people already know what he has done and failed to do.

What can a neophyte Chief Executive accomplish in 100 days, a period just enough for organizing his Cabinet, pinpointing priorities, and giving marching orders to his team – after hitting the ground partying, traveling, and savoring the perks of the presidency?

If what is being demanded of Marcos is a mini-SONA (State of the Nation Address), his 7,800-word report was already delivered before the first joint session of the 19th Congress last July 25 as mandated by the Constitution.

As for timely reports of what he has been doing and how Filipinos have been surviving under his care, he has his Press Office and the entire information apparatus of the government to keep the people informed. This means that he has to fix first the press office.

Marcos is the president 24/7, even when he is asleep. There was never a “private time”, even when he flew unannounced to Singapore to watch a Formula 1 Grand Prix race while commuters back home had to endure the grand inefficiency of public transportation.

At the program Wednesday night of the Manila Overseas Press Club in Pasay City, Marcos was also asked what he had accomplished in his first 100 days. He said it was too early to label as accomplishments what he has done.

“But nonetheless,” he said, “I think we have managed to put together a government which is functional and which has a very, very good idea of what we are targeting in terms of strict economic targets, for example, in terms of the numbers of growth, the different measures, the metrics that we are using for the economy.”

He said his administration started “putting out the fires,” referring to shortages in sugar, rice, and fertilizer that he directly had to attend to as concurrent agriculture secretary.

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Pulse Asia asked 1,200 Filipinos Sept. 17-21 what they considered the most urgent issues, Nearly seven out of every 10 pointed to soaring prices of food and other basic items, the issue for which Marcos received his lowest approval rating in the survey.

While easing inflation was the top urgent concern for 60 percent of respondents, 42 percent disapproved of the administration’s addressing of the problem against 31 percent in favor, or a net approval rating of -11, the lowest among the 13 issues rated in the poll.

Inflation, which is the rate of increase in prices of food, clothing, housing, electricity, transportation, and other essentials, rose to 6.9 percent in September, the worst in four years. It raised the year-to-date average to 5.1 percent, the Philippine Statistics Authority said.

Reining in inflation was a concern of the majority across all areas, with 81 percent in Mindanao, 71 percent in the Visayas, 68 percent in Metro Manila, and 56 percent in Luzon outside of Manila.

The majority of Class D and E respondents were most concerned about inflation at 71 percent and 58 percent, respectively, while the top concern among Class ABC was increasing workers’ pay at 55 percent.

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An opinion widely shared is that of economist Solita C. Monsod, who wrote in her blog about what she thought were some of the accomplishments and mistakes of Marcos in his first 100 days:

“Just to give an idea of the kind of time period we are talking about: the 100 days, from June 30 to Oct.7, covers 14 five-day work weeks, or a little over one/fourth (0.27) of a year, or about 4 percent of his six-year term. Whether this is too short a period is, as Executive Secretary Bersamin is wont to say, ‘irrelevant’, but for the record, all the post-Marcos Sr. presidents reportedly gave their 100-day report, with the exception of PRRD, who gave his in 50 days.

“So what did PBBM accomplish during this period? Here is as comprehensive a list as I can gather:

“1. On the Economy: His greatest accomplishment is choosing what I consider to be the best team of economic managers (the Secretaries of Socio-economic Planning, Finance, Budget, and the BSP Governor) post and pre-EDSA. If anybody can bring this country back better days, they can. But that’s only four people.

“PBBM goes a great deal further: he says (to the Manila Overseas Press Club) that he has chosen the best and brightest for all the positions he has filled in government. I cannot go that far, because there are very glaring exceptions. I think that of the 31 most important positions that were filled, only 11, maybe 13 tops, were filled by the best and brightest. Different metrics were used for the others – political payoffs, or personal (Ilocano, loyalty, etc.). I don’t think their curriculum vitae would have passed the first post.

“xxx Other encouraging signs (i.e., that he is listening and acting on the advice of his economic managers): PBBM exercised his veto power on several bills, which represented either increased government expenditures or decreased government revenues: creating the Bulacan Airport Special Economic Zone and Freeport; granting tax exemption to honoraria received by election workers; strengthening the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel; creating a Transport Safety Board.” More:

(First published in the Philippine STAR of October 9, 2022)

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