By Basti Vertudez

“When he should have taken on the reins of governance, President Marcos seems to have taken only a slack hold. Is the President really at the helm? Or does he expect the ship to sail itself?”

Photo Courtesy of Rappler/AFP

Senator Risa Hontiveros threw this tirade against President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., whom she pertained to being “relaxed” in his first 100 days as the chief executive of the Philippines despite the several issues that the country faced.

In a statement on Friday, October 7, Hontiveros said that she believes the first 100 days of a president in office is meant to “set the tone of bold leadership and management amid crises,” which she claimed Marcos failed to achieve.

“To this day, that tone has not been assumed,” the opposition senator asserted.
One of the reasons why Hontiveros slammed Marcos in his first 100 days as the president is because of his “lack of management skills and a topsy-turvy bureaucracy.”
According to the minority senator, Marcos’ leadership issue is evident in concerns that Hontiveros mentioned, such as the recessions on the supply of products like sugar, resignations of his appointees, and pending appointments on key agencies in the country.
"These are shown in the non-handling of sugar import fiasco in the middle of the recession, leadership issues in different government offices, the resignation of two Cabinet officials and chairperson of the Commission on Audit, and the pending appointment of a Health secretary who will address the pandemic, as well as a different Agriculture secretary who will face the current food shortage," Hontiveros enumerated.
Last August, the lawmaker had already urged President Marcos, who concurrently serves as the agriculture secretary, to appoint another Department of Agriculture (DA) chief to address the sugar supply scarcity because she believes it must be a “full-time job.”

In line with this, Hontiveros also pointed out the chief executive’s lack of urgency over inflation after the Pulse Asia survey showed that 42 percent of Filipinos disapproved of the administration’s response toward this emerging issue. 

"Bagamat nakapag-appoint siya ng mala-Avengers na economic team, hindi pa rin malinaw ang direksyon ng pagbawi ng ating bansa mula sa recession. Kung ‘yan ang basehan, masasabing walang bakas sa first 100 days ng pagbangon ng ekonomiya ang itatampok ng administrasyong ito," she stated.

Despite blasting Marcos, Hontiveros further acknowledged that not all issues could be solved by the government in a span of 100 days. 

However, she commanded the head of state “to put his back into the real work now,” claiming that the country does not already have “the luxury of time.”

Marcos’ 100th day as the sitting president was on October 8 after winning the high-stakes May 9 national elections, which led him to be sworn in as the country’s chief executive last June 30.

Edited by Juliana Christine Mondoyo