PRESIDENT Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. said his administration is committed to steering the Philippines forward as he starts his presidency.

"I am here not to talk about the past; I am here to tell you about our future. A future of sufficiency even plenty; of readily available ways and means to get done what needs doing — by you, by me," the President said during his inauguration at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Manila on June 30, 2022.

The president added that "We do not look back but ahead; up the road that we must take to a place better than the one we lost in the pandemic: gains made and lost; opportunities missed; well-laid plans superseded by the pandemic."

Marcos Jr. said the Philippines will continue to face challenges from the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine Conflict.

"We face prospects of the spread of the war abroad, of which we are totally blameless. We seek friendship with all. But countries like ours will bear the brunt of it. And if the great powers draw the wrong lessons from the ongoing tragedy in Ukraine, the same dark prospect of conflict will spread to our part of the world. Yet there is more out there, like going forward by new ways of doing the pandemic forced us to adopt. A stronger resilience, quicker adaptability, they are our best prevention, they are our best protection," he said.

Marcos, Jr. noted how the conflict is affecting food sufficiency.

"The trade policy of competitive advantage made the case: that when it comes to food sufficiency, a country should not produce but import what other countries make more of and sell cheapest. Then came Ukraine. The most vulnerable when it comes to food are the countries farthest away from the conflict; those bearing no blame for provoking it. Yet they face the biggest risk of starvation," Marcos Jr., said.

Aside from the Russia-Ukraine Conflict, the country's food security is also threatened by the "neglect and misdirection" of the agriculture sector.

"The role of agriculture cries for the urgent attention that its neglect and misdirection now demands. Food self-sufficiency has been the key promise of every administration. None but one delivered. There were inherent defects in the old ways and in recent ways, too," Marcos Jr. said. Earlier he announced that he will take the helm of the leadership in the Department of Agriculture.

The President said his administration is currently crafting initiatives to allow the country to recover from the effects of the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine Conflict.

"We are presently drawing up a comprehensive, all-inclusive plan for economic transformation. We will build back better by doing things in the light of the experiences that we have had; both good and bad. It doesn’t matter. No looking back in anger or nostalgia," Marcos, Jr. said.

Marcos Jr. said now is the time for Filipinos to come together to help the country get back on its feet and move forward.

"In this fresh chapter of our history, I extend my hand to all Filipinos. Come, let us put our shoulders to the wheel; and give that wheel a faster turn — to repair and to rebuild; and to address challenges in new ways; to provide what all Filipinos need; to be all that we can. We are here to repair a house divided; to make it whole and to stand strong again in the Bayanihan way, expressive of our nature as Filipinos," he said.

The President said also encouraged the Filipinos to "be part of the solution" in resolving or addressing the challenges faced by the country.


Marcos Jr. said when the Covid-19 struck the Philippines, it showed the current state of the country's health care system.

"There were shortcomings in the Covid-19 response; we will fix them — out in the open. No more secrets in public health. Remember, I speak from experience, I was among the first to get Covid; it was not a walk in the park," the President said.

By improving the health system, Marcos Jr. said the country "won't be caught unprepared, under-equipped, and understaffed to fight the next pandemic."

He also vowed to improve the working conditions of Filipino nurses.

"Our nurses are the best in the world. They acquitted themselves with the highest distinction abroad, having suffered even the highest casualties. With the same exemplary dedication at home they just got by. They are out there because we cannot pay them for the same risk and workload that we have back here. There will be changes starting tomorrow. I am confident because I have an Ople in my Cabinet," Marcos Jr.


Meanwhile, Marcos said he wants some subjects in schools to be "rethought."

"I am not talking about history. I'm talking about the basics, the sciences, sharpening theoretical aptitude and imparting vocational skills such as in the German example. Alongside the National Language; with equal emphasis and facility in a global language; which we had and lost," Marcos Jr. said.

He said by improving the education system or how some subjects are taught will allow Filipinos to seek better opportunities, particularly those who will become overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

"Our teachers from elementary up are our heroes fighting ignorance with poor paper weapons. We are condemning the future of our race to menial occupations abroad. Then they are exploited by traffickers. Once we had an education system that prepared coming generations for more and better jobs. There is hope for a comeback. Vice President and soon-to-be Secretary of Education, Sara Duterte-Carpio, will fit that mission to a T," Marcos Jr. said.


The President also assured the Filipinos that he will continue the infrastructure projects planned and implemented during the term of former President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

"Following these giant steps, we will continue to build. I will complete on schedule the projects that have been started. I am not interested in taking credit; I want to build on success that’s already happening," Marcos Jr. said.

He said his administration will prepare a comprehensive infrastructure plan to ensure that "no part of our country will be neglected" and "no investment is wasted."

"Progress will be made wherever there are Filipinos," the President said.

Marcos Jr. said he will share details of his plans for the country in his State of the Nation Address.

"I searched for promising approaches better than the usual solutions. I listened to you. I did not lecture you who has the biggest stake in our success. And the forthcoming State of the Nation will tell you exactly how we shall get this done," Marcos Jr said. RJL