As President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s marks his 100th day in office today (Oct. 8), some senators commended him, but the opposition expressed severe criticisms.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian praised the President’s actions, such as what he called “right-sizing the government”, forming an impressive economic team, and abolishing agencies with overlapping functions.
Gatchalian also said the Chief Executive addressed concerns on agriculture “when he let the investigation run its course on issues hounding the sugar importation.”
He also lauded Marcos for bringing over P1 trillion after his business trips to the United States, Indonesia, and Singapore.
“This is just the start. We have a long way to go. But we need the help of each one to make a recovery easier,” Gatchalian added.
On the other hand, opposition Sen. Risa Hontiveros said up to this day, the tone of bold leadership and management in the midst of crises, just as we are facing now, has not been assumed by the President.
She said the President should have taken on the reins of governance but “he seems to have taken only a slack hold.”
“Is the President really at the helm? Or does he expect the ship to sail by itself?” Hontiveros asked.
After 100 days in his position, it would appear that Malacañang is scared to face the mirror, she noted.
The President’s lack of management skills and a topsy-turvy bureaucracy, are blockages in government functions, as shown by the non-handling of the sugar import fiasco in the middle of the recession, Hontiveros said.
In several agencies, she said there was no leadership.
She noted that two Cabinet officials and the COA chairman have already resigned.
And up to now, she said there are no Health secretary and Agriculture secretary to address the pandemic and food shortage.
The senator cited the most recent Pulse Asia survey which revealed that 42 percent of Filipinos disapprove of the President’s lack of urgency when it comes to controlling inflation, which the people believe is the most pressing issue today.
Because inflation soared to 6.9 percent, more and more people are growing hungry every day, she stressed.
The peso has plummeted to historic lows. More people have no jobs, the lady senator said;.
“We do not expect the administration to solve all the problems of the nation in 100 days, but Mr. President, we do not have the luxury of time,” she pointed out.
She said the President should have taken control of the wheel 100 days ago. But since no one can turn back time, he needs to put his back into the real work now.
For Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senator Robinhood Padilla, Marcos’ first 100 days was a “good” start, especially for the country’s economy.
“I think he is doing a good job. First of all, he jumpstarted it with several Cabinet meetings on daily basis. He chose a very good Cabinet team. Outstanding economic team. And he is the best salesman for the country,” Zubiri said.
Padilla hoped that the President could sustain the good start in his next 2,092 days of his term – from October 8, 2022 to June 30, 2028 – to address the other problems our nation faces.”
During his first 100 days, the President – aside from assembling a powerhouse team of economic managers – has personally taken the role of “traveling salesman” in attracting investments from other countries, Padilla said.
He (Marcos) is also personally addressing the nation’s concerns on food and agriculture as concurrent Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Padilla added.
According to Padilla, Filipinos “must unite to support what is right and correct what is wrong, because the President’s victory is a win for our motherland — and most importantly, a win for all Filipinos.”
Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III, meanwhile urged the Chief Executive “to keep his eyes on the ball.”
While saying that he believes that Marcos was trying his best as a leader, Pimentel advised the President to remain focus as the country battles rising inflation, high cost of fuel, and unemployment.
“I believe he’s trying his best, but he has to minimize his movements and activities which give us a hint of some insensitivity to what our people are going through right now.
“This is really a very difficult time to govern,” Pimentel said.
He noted that the world’s situation was “very unpredictable, if not chaotic.”
He added how the Filipinos have been suffering from the high cost of basic commodities and how the country’s educational system has been declining.
Pimentel also noted that the country faces a serious problem with law and order.
“It’s difficult to live now. We can see many beggars just here in Metro Manila,” he added.