AT 12 noon today, the Philippines will see a change of guards.
Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr., will succeed President Rodrigo R. Duterte as the 17th president of the Philippines.
What can we expect under a Marcos administration? Based on previous news reports, Marcos, Jr. said the first priority of his administration will be finding ways to help the economy recover following the economic impacts of the Covid-19. He said he will look into the effects of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) of the Asean and look into other ways to address the increasing price of petroleum products.
It should also be noted that Marcos, Jr.'s economic team has been well received by the business sector. The team will be composed of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno (Department of Finance), Philippine Competition Commission chief Arsenio Balisacan (National Economic and Development Authority), and BSP Asst. Governor Amenah Pangandangan (Department of Budget and Management). Monetary Board Member Felipe Medalla will succeed Diokno as the BSP Governor
Marcos Jr. also said he will temporarily take the lead of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
"As to agriculture, I think the problem is severe enough that I have decided to take on the portfolio of Secretary of Agriculture at least for now," Marcos said in a press conference.
"I thought it is important that the president take that portfolio so that not only to make it clear to everyone what a high priority we put on the agri sector but also as a practical matter so that things move quickly because the events of the global economy are moving very quickly," he added.
It was also bared by Sweden Ambassador Annika Thunborg that after her courtesy call to Marcos Jr., earlier this month, the President told her that his administration will "conduct the war on drugs within the framework of the law and with respect for human rights and focus on rehabilitation and socio-economic development."
Marcos Jr. has also stated that he will continue to assert the country’s right over the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
Meanwhile, in Davao City, Sebastian Duterte will succeed his sister, Vice President Sara Duterte, as the Mayor of Davao City. He is the third Duterte to lead the city.
During his inaugural speech, Sebastian said he will prioritize the local economy, investing in health, prioritizing food security, and doubling the efforts of the implementation of the High Priority Bus System.
Today we enter a new era for our country and city.
Let us welcome the new administrations and new set of leaders for the next several years.
But at the same time, let us keep an eye on what they do and hold them accountable for whatever they will do.