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HomeFront Page‘Let’s work on the future of sufficiency’ — PBBM

‘Let’s work on the future of sufficiency’ — PBBM

by Ruffy Magbanua
MDN Deputy Editor In Chief

Manila — Newly-installed President Ferdinand ‘BongBong’ Marcos Jr. said during his inaugural speech on Thursday that he wants to focus on the future of sufficiency for the country instead of dwelling in the past.

Marcos who was sworn in on June 30 as the 17th President of the Republic at the historic National Museum of Fine Arts in Intramuros promises economic transformation and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said that by the end of his term in 2028, he wants to see the Philippines as an upper middle-income country with a single-digit poverty rate and a smaller budget deficit similar to prepandemic levels.

Marcos said these were the three overarching goals that he hopes to achieve in the next six years.

“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. We do not look back, but ahead”, Marcos said before an approving crowd that included diplomats, former presidents, incoming cabinet and elected officials, and hundreds of his supporters.

“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 Well-laid plans superseded by the pandemic”, he added.

The months ahead will be rough but I urge you to walk with me in the road to recovery. The pandemic ravaged bigger economies than ours. The virus is not the only thing to blame. What had been well-built was torn down. We will build it back better.

Marcos who will act as the interim Secretary of Agriculture has sought for the immediate reforms in the aggie sector as he called for an urgent attention to attain food self-sufficiency.

“Food is not just a trade commodity. Without it, people weaken and die, societies come apart. It is more than a livelihood, it is an existential imperative, and a moral one. An agriculture damage diminished by unfair competition will have a harder time or will have no prospects at all of recovering. Food sufficiency must get the preferential treatment”, Marcos said.

On the spiralling costs of fuel, Marcos said “we will find ways to mitigate the costs of fuel. We are not far from oil and gas reserves that have already been developed.”

On the fate of OFWs and teachers, Marcos said “Let us give OFWs all the advantages we can to survive and to thrive. Our teachers, from elementary, are 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 Secretary of Education Sara Duterte-Carpio will fit that mission to a tee”.

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, he said.

Marcos’ inaugural speech also touched on the following agenda as part of his economic recovery blueprint:

—There were shortcomings in the COVID 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.

—My father built more and better roads. Produced more rice than all administrations before his. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte built more and better than all the succeeding administrations succeeding my father’s. Much has been built and so well that the economic dogma of dispersing industry to develop the least likely places has been upturned. Development was brought to them.

—Investors are now setting up industries along the promising routes built. And yet, the potential of this country is not exhausted.

Following these giants’ 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 the success that’s already happening. We will be presenting the public with a comprehensive infrastructure plan, six years could be just about enough time. No part of our country will be neglected. Progress will be made wherever there are Filipinos so, no investment is wasted.

—The recovery of Philippine tourism with its emphasis on accessing nature’s beauty, I am sure it will exceed expectations.

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