By Anna Leah Gonzales

CALL FOR TRANSFORMATION.  President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos lead the launching of “Bagong Pilipinas” at Quirino Grandstand in Manila on Sunday (Jan. 28, 2024) attended by more than 400,000 people. The President said “Bagong Pilipinas” is a call for the transformation of our idea of being a Filipino, of our economy, governance, and society. (PNA photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Sunday said the “Bagong Pilipinas” (New Philippines) is a new approach to governance that will benefit all Filipinos.

“Bagong Pilipinas is not a political game plan that caters to a privileged few. It is a master plan for genuine development that benefits all people,” Marcos said in his speech during the “Bagong Pilipinas” kick-off rally held at the Quirino Grandstand in the City of Manila.

The “Bagong Pilipinas” campaign is the overarching theme of the Marcos administration’s brand of governance and leadership, characterized by a principled, accountable, and dependable government reinforced by unified institutions of society.

In his speech, Marcos acknowledged that the complex and changing world calls for a united response that would make the nation strong, the economy sound, and the children’s future secure.

“We need to have a vision that moves us forward as a people united. A vision so compelling that it brings out the best in us. One that is feasible that every one of us will invest in,” he said.

Marcos vowed that the government would show in deeds that it was deserving of Filipinos’ trust.

“It must craft a blueprint for progress, a plan that inspires hope and promises change, because, without one, we will be inflicting the old and outmoded views on our people, denying them the benefits that innovation and that empowerment will bring,” he said.

The Philippine Development Plan of 2023 to 2028 enumerates the sectors to which funds should be channeled, and what policies must be implemented so that these can contribute to the overall growth, the President added.

The plan also lists the infrastructure priorities of the government.

Ang Philippine Development Plan, ‘yan ang isa sa mga batayang dokumento kung saan hinango ang Bagong Pilipinas, our brand of governance. (The Philippine Development Plan is one of the documents from which Bagong Pilipinas, our brand of governance, is derived),” said Marcos.

In his speech, he also mandated government officials to improve government services and eliminate red tape.

“Services must be fast, projects must be completed on time, deadlines must be met per schedule, distress calls must be responded to without delay. In whatever government office, red tape must be replaced with a red carpet,” Marcos said.

He added that complex requirements and the processing time must also be reduced.

Dishonest and corrupt officials also have no place in the government, he stressed. 

The President also reminded government officials that they “are servants of the people” and encouraged the public to report erring officials.

“So let me reiterate this, feedback is essential to government, without it, mistakes cannot be corrected, bad behavior cannot be sanctioned, best practices cannot be learned, and good deeds cannot be commended,” he said.

Marcos also assured that under the Bagong Pilipinas, the government will also prioritize the future of the youth by reforming the educational system.

“The reforms that we envision for our educational system should be showcased in our classrooms. The gist of which is this: A learner with books on their table, a well-trained, highly-motivated, well-paid teacher in front of them, teaching a curriculum carefully curated to our needs, under a setting wired to the digital world,” he said.

The farmers and the agriculture sector are also one of the priorities of the government.  “We are expanding our irrigable lands. We are increasing farm support across the board for all crops. We are incentivizing urban gardening, including turning idle lands into vegetable plots,” said Marcos.

During the speech, the President likewise reminded local government officials to be model citizens while Cabinet members were also instructed to take the lead in conducting Bagong Pilipinas Town Hall Meetings in every region.

“‘Bagong Pilipinas’ is a call for transformation: the transformation of our idea of being a Filipino and the transformation of our economy, governance, and society,” Marcos.

Around 400,000 people attended the “Bagong Pilipinas” kick-off ceremony, including members of the Cabinet, lawmakers, local government officials, and the general public. (PNA)