MANILA, Philippines — Five days after President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. took office, the new chief executive has now held his first meeting with his cabinet members after rescheduling.
On Tuesday, July 5, Marcos Jr. led the meeting at the Palace, attended by Education Secretary Sara Duterte, Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos, Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra, and Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez, among others.
In a short video uploaded by the Malacañang Palace on Facebook, the newly elected president asked the economic team, composed of the Department of Finance, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Felipe Medalla, and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, to lead the meeting by giving an overview of the economic situation in the country.
“I ask what we call the economics group, which is the Secretary of Finance, the [Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas] Governor, and the [National Economic and Development Authority] to give us a briefing on the general situation economically because I think we can all understand that the most important area that we will have to deal with would have to be the economy.”PRESIDENT FERDINAND BONGBONG MARCOS JR.
“The central policy actually that everybody else would be following will be that set out by our economic managers,” Marcos added.
The live feed from the Presidential Communications Operations Office was cut 5 minutes into airing just before the economic team was about to make a presentation.
The first Cabinet meeting was initially scheduled for July 1, a day before her mother and former first lady Imelda Marcos had her ‘simple merienda’ birthday celebration at the Malacañang Palace.
Meanwhile, Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Erwin Tulfo also said through his social media that Marcos had dismissed the idea of reducing government personnel to save funds amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We don’t want anyone out of [a] job at this point,” Tulfo quoted Marcos.
“He is knowledgeable, organized, and very sharp,” he added.
“The President has been “carrying on the discussion extremely well,” Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra said.
For the time being, there are still no appointed secretaries for the Department of Energy, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, and the Department of Health, even though there is an ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases in the country.