Marcos: Health, livelihood, peace process top priorities in 1st 100 days

Photo from Bongbong Marcos Facebook page
Photo from Bongbong Marcos Facebook page

PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said that his first 100 days in office centered on initiatives for health, livelihood and peace.

Health

Marcos said his administration is managing the Covid-19 pandemic well with the continuous strengthening of the vaccination program, the allocation of funds for the Special Risk Allowances (SRA) of health workers in private and public hospitals, and the lifting of the mandatory wearing of face masks in open, well-ventilated and non-crowded areas.

The Department of Budget and Management earlier ordered the release of an additional P1.04 billion for the SRA of over 5,000 eligible health workers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said it was also due to the government’s efforts that students have returned to face-to-face classes two years following the shift to distance learning due to the pandemic.

According to the Department of Education (DepEd), a total of 28,035,042 students enrolled for school year 2022-2023, of which 46 percent will join in-person classes while 51.8 percent will be under a blended learning modality.

By November 2, the DepEd said all schools should have already shifted to full face-to-face classes.

The government also offered free rides for students in trains and Edsa Carousel in Metro Manila.

Livelihood

Marcos said they were also able to lay down initiatives to ensure the livelihood of the Filipino people.

“Ang pagbangon ng ating ekonomiya ay pagbangon ng pamilyang Pilipino, kaya naman puspusan ang ating ginagawang hakbang para dumami hanap buhay at oportunidad dito sa bansa,” he said.

(The rise of our economy is the rise of the Filipino people, that's why we are taking steps to increase the number of jobs and opportunities here in the country.)

Marcos conducted two state visits in Singapore and Indonesia, where he said he was able to secure a total of $14.36 billion or P804.78 billion worth of investment pledges.

He also went to the United States for the 77th United Nations General Assembly.

There, was able to meet with various foreign investors and organizations and brought home $3.9 billion in investment pledges that can generate around 112,285 jobs in information technology, data center and manufacturing sectors.

In a report, the Office of the Press Secretary said the country's economy is on a rising growth trajectory, with a 7.4 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the second quarter of the year.

It said the main contributors to the GDP growth, according to the data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), were the wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles at 9.7 percent, construction at 19 percent and transportation storage at 27.1 percent.

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, Industry and Services, which were among the major economic sectors, also posted positive growths during the said period, 0.2, 6.3 and 9.1 percent, respectively.

Economy

Since July, Marcos enacted three policies aimed at liberalizing the country’s economy, which was badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Among these policies were lowering corporate income tax rates and rationalizing fiscal incentives, reducing the minimum paid-up capital requirements for foreign retailers and start-ups bringing in advanced new technology, and allowing full foreign ownership of companies providing public services.

The Malacañang said the employment rate continued to pick up, noting that 47.39 million individuals were employed, as of July 22, compared to 41.67 million in the same period in 2021.

The country’s unemployment rate went as high as 17.6 percent at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in the massive layoff of workers as various companies shut down, as well as a cut down on workforce due to limited business operations.

As of July 2022, the unemployment rate in the country was down to 5.2 percent.

The Malacañang also highlighted the administration’s strong support to the country’s labor force by expanding the work-from-home scheme, conducting training-cum-production and emergency employment program for the conduct of rehabilitation works on damaged infrastructure, and the provision of over P128 million in aid to disaster-affected workers.

Based on the PSA report, the country’s inflation rate accelerated to 6.9 percent in September.

Inflation is the rate of the increase of prices of consumer goods and services at a certain period.

In a survey conducted by Pulse Asia Research Inc., the Marcos administration has gained a -11 net approval rating (NAR) in its performance in controlling inflation.

The government, however, got the highest NAR of +75 for its performance in responding to the needs of areas affected by calamities.

Government assistance

As of August 1, the Malacañang said around P25 million worth of assistance was provided to families affected by the magnitude 7 earthquake that hit parts of Northern Luzon in July.

It said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as of September 28 also provided 22.7 million worth of relief items to the concerned local government units.

A total of P1,033,610,800 worth of educational assistance under the assistance to individuals in crisis situation programs were also distributed nationwide.

It said the Department of Budget and Management also allocated P962 billion or 18.3 percent of the total proposed national budget for 2023 for local government units to further capacitate them in delivering essential services to their respective constituents.

Peace process

The administration also renewed its commitment to peace in Mindanao and ensured the continuation of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program for former members of the armed movement.

He said the unity of leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front has increased the economic potential in the region.

In September, Marcos reaffirmed the administration’s “full and unwavering” support of the peace process as he graced the inaugural session of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Parliament.

‘Solid foundation’

“Isang daang araw na po ang nakalipas mula nang aking simulan ang panunungkulan bilang pangulo, may nagsasabi na itong first 100 days daw ang honeymoon period parang nangangapa pa pero parang hindi naman ganun ang aking naging pakiramdam dahil siguro pamilyar na rin ako sa trabaho kaya nakapagsabak agad,” said Marcos.

(It's been a hundred days since I started my office as president, some say that the first 100 days are the honeymoon period, it's like I'm still adjusting, but I don't feel like that because maybe I'm already familiar with the job so I can start right away.)

“Bagamat wala pa naman tayo sa kalingkingan ng kabuuang plano nating ipatupad, nakapagalatag naman tayo sa tulong ng ating mga masisipag na kawani ng gobyerno ng matibay na pundasyon bilang simula ng pangako nating pagbangon,” he added.

(Although we are not yet at the tip of our overall plan, we have been able to lay a solid foundation with the help of our diligent government workers as the beginning of our promised recovery.)

Marcos said his government will continue working for the betterment of the country. (SunStar Philippines)

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