Focus BBM – Manila Standard

“It was a proud moment for the Marcos family.”

Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez Marcos Jr., 64, is the 17th president of the Philippines.

It became reality at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday night (May 25) when Congress, with the Senate and House of Representatives in joint session to canvass votes, proclaimed the only son and namesake of the late Ferdinand Edralin Marcos as as duly elected president. of the republic, which is the oldest in Asia, succeeding the controversial but popular Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

According to the Congressional campaign, BBM garnered 31,629,783 votes, 16.59 million more or more than double the votes of the distant second place runner, Leni Robredo’s 15,035,773 votes. BBM won 58.77% of the 53.8 million votes cast for president; Robredo settled for a meager 27.94%.

BBM won in 64 of the 80 major provinces and 25 of the 27 largest cities, including all 15 cities in Metro Manila and the southern cities of Cebu and Davao. BBM defeated Isko Moreno in his own city of Manila.

Leni won in just 14 provinces, third place Manny Pacquiao in one province and 7th place Faisal Mangondato in one.

Duly-elected Vice President Sara Duterte won an equally magnificent landslide victory. She received 32.208 million votes, or 61.53% of the 52.34 million votes cast for the vice-presidency. Finalist Kiko Pangilinan, Leni’s running mate, only got 9.329 million votes, or 17.82%.

It was a proud moment for the Marcos family. It was a historic redemption point, taking exactly 36 years and three months until BBM’s proclamation day, after a People Power revolt on February 25, 1986 toppled Marcos Sr. and ended the longest or 20 years of presidency, 14 of them under the rule of the strongman.

“In nearly four decades, we have endured being mocked and oppressed,” recalled eldest sister Senator Imee Marcos Manotoc, who joined her only brother at the podium for his proclamation. “We are grateful for this second chance.”

In the gallery with the new president were his wife Liza, their second son Simon, his mother, the ailing former first lady Imelda Marcos, his other sister, Irene, and his first cousin, the House Majority Leader, Martin Romualdez.

The Marcos family’s second visit to Malacañang looks promising.

BBM says he made it work, forming the core of his cabinet, in particular his economics team, identifying his core issues – the economy (i.e. jobs, prices, food shortages) ; seek a “honeymoon” with the legislative (economic stimulus measures, including taxation) and the judiciary (will this mean that the so-called inheritance tax claim is abandoned?), and setting the timeline for things that can be done in the short and long term. After her proclamation, BBM stayed for three hours to reconnect with her former colleagues. He was a congressman and a senator himself.

“I am honored because for anyone in public office or in public life, the most valuable thing you can receive from a fellow citizen is their vote. Because in that vote lies their hopes and aspirations for the future. future,” BBM told reporters after its proclamation.

“Embedded in this vote are the tasks and the confidence they give you to take them to this ambitious future. And that is why having received more than 31 million votes from our compatriots is as precious – an expression of confidence as can have anyone in public life,” he acknowledged.

Addressing its 110 million compatriots after the ‘best run election’, BBM vowed ‘I promise you we may not be perfect, but we will always strive for perfection’.

He pleaded: “I ask you all to pray for me. Wish me luck. I want to do well because when a president does well, the country does well.

Of the more than 32 ministerial posts, BBM has filled ten. They include: attorney Vic Rodriguez, as executive secretary; the governor of Bangko Sentral, Benjamin Diokno, as finance secretary; Representative Crispin “Boying” Remulla, Judge; San Miguel Corp. Tollsways Chief Manny Bonoan, Public Works and Highways; Vice President-Elect Sara Duterte, Education; Management Association of the Philippines President Alfredo Pascual, Commerce and Industry; Labor Lawyer Bienvenido Laguesma, Labor: Economist Arsenio Balisacan, Economic Planning and NEDA; Susan “Toots” Ople, for the new Department of Migrant Workers; lawyer Ben Hur Abalos, Interior and local government; and Attorney Trixie Angeles, Presidential Office of Communications Operations. ‘

Economist Felipe Medalla succeeds Ben Diokno as BSP governor. Although only ranked as a director in the bureaucracy, the governor of the BSP can make or break the economy. It can create money, credit, debt, employment, production and even a recession. It is therefore a very important member of the economic team of an administration.

BBM has not yet announced candidates for Foreign Affairs, Defense, Budget and Management, Environment and Natural Resources, Agriculture, Health, Social Welfare, Housing and Urban Development, land reform, information and communications, presidential management staff and the secretary to the cabinet.

The main objectives of BBM are jobs, lower prices and increased food production.

For job creation, the next president will focus on the private sector. BBM will reduce red tape by streamlining the operations of all agencies, which he said means “immediate digitization”. Digital technology will mean more efficient tax collection (no taxes will be lowered except for those hardest hit by the pandemic, SMEs), and reduce what BBM calls the “corrosive effect” of corruption. The distribution of wealth is a major aspect of tax policy. The rich will therefore have to pay more taxes.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will receive particular attention. They will get priority credit. BBM hates that getting a permit means visiting 20 offices in three days. “Sixty-two percent of our employees are in SMEs,” he notes.

Regarding food, BBM is keen to achieve, at least in the short term, a rice of 20 pesos per kilo, from the current average of 30 pesos per kilo, at least in the short term. This will come by talking to merchants (who drive up rice prices), importing more rice in the meantime, and helping farmers produce more by improving machine efficiency, reducing the cost of fertilizers, and giving them more credit (whose average age by the way is 57).

BBM wants Land Bank to return to its former mission of financing agricultural production rather than being one of the big commercial banks (it is the second largest). Other agencies will return to their former mission. Like the National Food Authority which was never intended to be a rice import monopoly but a production entity.

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