President-elect Marcos Jr., says country’s economy is “first priority”

“I have found the best people,” he said as he names economic team members

President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in his first press briefing on Thursday, May 26, after being proclaimed as the country’s next president.


(Eagle News) – President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr., said that the country’s economy is going to be his “first priority” and is confident that he has chosen the “best persons” to be part of his economic team.

In his first press briefing after his proclamation, Marcos Jr., said that he had been “very very careful in choosing” the members of his economic team.

First priotiy is going to be the economy. That’s why we have been very very careful in choosing the economic team,” he said.

“I know the economic team is critical. And I think I have found the best people who are able to look forward and anticipate what will be the condition of the Philippines within the rest of the world in the coming years,” he said on Thursday, May 26.

Marcos, 64, who would be inaugurated on June 30 as the 17th Philippine president, said that because the focus on the economy is very important, he looked for the best persons who are knowledgeable in the field.

The incumbent Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor Ben Diokno will head the Department of Finance, while former director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Felipe Medalla will be the new BSP governor under the Marcos administration.

Former University of the Philippines (UP) president Alfredo Pascual will head the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Marcos also named his nominee to head the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). This is San Miguel Corporation Tollways CEO Manny Bonoan who Marcos said had “spent almost his entire professional life in the DPWH.”

“I know him very well and I know he will do a good job,” he said.

Marcos also identified the first items in the economy that the team would address.

“It’s still down to jobs, the increasing prices of commodities, some relief for the business community,” he said.

Marcos said that the members of his economic team had already worked with each other and would thus have a good working relationship.

-Getting the right people-

“The most important thing for me is to get the right people in the right place,” he said.

He also noted that the secretary of the DPWH, normally, is not part of the economic team.

But for him, he said the DPWH is important in the economy because of its function.

Marcos said that the economic team members whom he had chosen had already agreed to the positions he mentioned.

-Helping MSME, industrializing agri, digitalization of PHL-

The incoming president said that he also wants to help the MSME or the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), as well as uplift and industrialize agriculture in the country.

He also wants to digitalize the country, and streamline government operations.

He, however, did not yet name who would be his pick for the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

Marcos said that he already has a nominee in mind, but it is important first to lay the plan for digitalization.

“We are still trying to put together the plan,” he said.

For the head of the Bureau of Customs and the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Marcos said there were many applicants. But what is important is to choose the “right person” for the job.

“We have to streamline the operations of government, which immediately brings us to the digital, IT and digital communications para mas maging maganda ang patakbo,” he said.

“And also it will be better for the Philippines for the simple reason that when we deal with other countries, everybody else is digitized. Tayo lang ang medyo naiwanan,” he said.

“So ganun ang negosyo ngayon. Ganun ang investment ngayon. Kailangan talaga digitized. So those are the immediate things. Those are the things that we can immediately enforce.”

-Cabinet members so far named-

Marcos again expressed his gratitude to his Vice-President, Sara Duterte, for agreeing to head the Department of Education.

“I’m so happy that Vice-President Sara has decided to take on the job. It is not a small job,” he said.

Sara Duterte (C), daughter of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte, is congratulated after proclaimed winner of the vice presidential race at the House of Representatives in Quezon City, suburban Manila on May 25, 2022. (Photo by JAM STA ROSA / AFP)

So far, these are members of his cabinet that Marcos had already named:

Department of Education – Vice-President-elect Sara Duterte;
Department of Justice – Jesus Crispin Remulla who is currently the Cavite district representative;
Department of Labor – Bienvenido Laguesma, who once headed the same department;
Department of Migrant Workers – Susan Ople who is an advocate for overseas Filipino workers’ rights;
National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) – Arsenio Balisacan who currently chairs the Philippine Competition Commission;
Department of Finance – incumbent BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno;
Department of Public Works and Highways – Manny Bonoan, former SMC Tollways Board CEO;
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor – Felipe Medalla, former NEDA director general;
Department of Trade and Industry – Alfredo Pascual, former UP president;
Executive Secretary – Vic Rodriguez, Marcos’ current spokesperson and long-time chief of staff;
Press Secretary – Rose Beatrix “Trixie” Cruz-Angeles


(Eagle News Service)

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