Marcos Jr. administration

Marcos’ first 100 days: Critics see ‘sinking ship,’ allies say ‘good job’

Dwight de Leon
Marcos’ first 100 days: Critics see ‘sinking ship,’ allies say ‘good job’

US DEPARTURE. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr speaks at the NAIA 2 ahead of leaving for New York for a six-day working visit.

Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles' Facebook

President Marcos boasted about forming a 'functional government' in his first 100 days, but a progressive group says he should not be proud of doing the 'bare minimum'

MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. marked his 100th day in office with allies giving him a pat on the back, and dissenters saying they saw a president who failed to respond to the country’s most pressing concerns.

In a press conference organized by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan on Friday, October 7, Bayan secretary-general Nato Reyes criticized Marcos for saying that his achievement was that of “[putting] together a government which is functional.”

“That is not an achievement; that is the bare minimum,” Reyes said. “It’s like we are aboard a ship with no direction and continues to sink. While they continue to party, we ordinary citizens are the ones suffering.”

Marcos’ first 100 days: Critics see ‘sinking ship,’ allies say ‘good job’

Progressive economic think tank Ibon Foundation also hit Marcos for supposedly failing to provide a clear vision for the economy in his first months in office.

“We need a bold and new initiative towards the economy. We didn’t see it in Marcos’ first 100 days, and we are unlikely to see it in the next six years of his administration,” said Ibon Foundation executive director Sonny Africa.

The Philippines’ post-pandemic economic recovery faces new challenges, as the rising prices of goods, rising cost of living, and weakening peso have burdened many Filipinos.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) likened the President to a wandering student who prioritized leisure instead of his immediate assignment.

“It is saddening that they consider an achievement the opening of schools, but, in truth, this has been our long call,” ACT chairperson Vladimir Quetua said. “They should push to raise the quality of education, provide supplies to students, and give benefits to teachers.”

Marcos’ first 100 days: Critics see ‘sinking ship,’ allies say ‘good job’
Allies impressed

But for friendly political forces who helped Marcos ascend to power, the President had a successful first 100 days in office.

Speaker Martin Romualdez said that his cousin’s administration crafted a proposed budget that would usher the country into economic recovery in 2023.

“His policies are very clear. On the part of the House of Representatives, we affirmed his fiscal framework along with the Senate,” he said, referring to the appropriations bill for 2023 that has hurdled the House and is being tackled by the Senate.

“That’s the most important piece of legislation. That’s the national budget for 2023, so my assessment is that he’s done a great job,” Romualdez added.

Romualdez, who was with Marcos in his foreign travels including the infamous Singapore Grand Prix trip, also asserted that such tours helped bring in investment pledges worth billions of dollars.

“He has also done a wonderful job in engaging our friends in the international community whereby foreign direct investments would be coming,” Romualdez asserted.

Senior Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, meanwhile, said she believed that Marcos was able to allay the public’s fears in relation to the economy because he formed an impressive team.

“The President has projected himself well as a calm, thoughtful leader who is true to his promise to promote unity and be a President for all,” said the former president.

Marcos, unlike his predecessors, is unlikely to release a report highlighting his accomplishments during his first 100 days in office, according to Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin. – Rappler.com

* All quotes in Filipino were translated into English.

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers local government units and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.