Declining trust in Bongbong Marcos an outcome of a lack of applied leadership fundamentals

We cannot afford to postpone reforms. The nation’s capacity for delivering a better future for its people rests on realizing these reforms. The inauspicious start of the administration of President Bongbong Marcos was indicative of what was perceived. Indeed, it went on to prove true that his 2022 election campaign didn’t have an actual platform because it was waiting for Sara Duterte, daughter of then incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte, to agree to be his running mate. The real reason for this lack of a platform may well have been the absence of a think-tank of policy wonks.

It was made worse by the fact that his designated Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez followed in the same path when it came to the composition of the cabinet. The process was marred by allegations of appointments for sale and confusion. There was even one photo which showed the president giving his top factotum a dressing down. As such, the socio-economic agenda of the administration is largely non-existent. The unfinished economic legislation lined up by the previous administration of former President Rodrigo Duterte is stuck in the legislative mill. What has been passed are laws which don’t have much of an impact because these are more palliative due to the lack of a key performance goal.

The previous administration balanced revenue generation and social amelioration. The result was two credit ratings upgrades. The Philippines made a successful comeback in the international bond markets which boded well for balancing the debt mix. Unfortunately, the pandemic hit and the debt ratio increased. The administration now is more focused on ayuda (dole outs) galore. It appears that the priority is the political agenda of amending the Constitution and the elimination from presidential contention of Sara Duterte. This, coupled with food-driven inflation, has resulted in the consequence of diminishing approval and trust ratings.

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It doesn’t help also that Marcos has been focusing more on his statesmanship rather than leadership. After all, the latter is what’s needed to address the domestic problems of Filipinos and Marcos, who has a CEO style of management, has delegated that to his cabinet. His subordinates though, haven’t been able to meet the challenge. Inflation is still running high and it doesn’t look like it will come down any time soon. It doesn’t help that external factors aren’t in its favor.

Next week, the president again leaves for Washington for a trilateral summit at the invitation of the American president. As is now evident, Marcos has wasted valuable political capital by not taking a firm stand on game-changing reforms such as constitutional amendments and the review of the country’s mining laws and tax regime. It’s not as if these are alien to Marcos because he just needs to pick-up where his father left off. In mining, value-adding is the processing of the raw material, which was why the Philippine Associated Smelting And Refining Corporation (PASAR) was established in 1976 by his father, former President Ferdinand E. Marcos. Junior just needs to cherry-pick what’s still viable and go from there.

But here’s the thing, the largest export market for minerals is China, which Marcos continuously alienates with his pivot to the United States. While the rest of the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) does business with China, we are instead relying on America which doesn’t have manufacturing capacity. There’s not much potential in expanding trade to the US.

With regard to foreign investments, the rest of ASEAN is getting more than us because of the competitive advantages they offer compared to us. Shouldn’t this be the focus of Marcos first before selling the Philippines? He has again left the issue of traffic congestion in the NCR to his cabinet for a holistic solution. We can only wonder when the solution will be forthcoming. It won’t be anytime soon. But as I always say, the optics are excellent in the Marcos administration.

2 Replies to “Declining trust in Bongbong Marcos an outcome of a lack of applied leadership fundamentals”

  1. It’s stupid to make an assertion based on surveys because it does not stay for long.

    That “declining trust in PBBM” in Pulse Asia survey was supplanted by the latest surveys from the “Boses ng Bayan” national survey for the first quarter of 2024 by the RP-Mission and Development Foundation Inc. (RPMD) and from the First Quarter “Tugon ng Masa” Survey conducted March 11 to 14 by OCTA Research.

    According to RPMD’s statement, Marcos continues to enjoy a hefty trust rating of 79 percent and an approval rating of 76 percent.

    While the Octa Research survey showed that around 31 percent of Filipinos support President Marcos and his government, while only 4 percent back the opposition.

    The survey also revealed that only 20 percent favor the Duterte family and their political allies.

  2. LOL

    Where is Benign0??

    That clown was in favor of Marcos who ran on an agenda of essentially 30 pesos rice and nothing else. Where is the 30 pesos rice?? And the nothing else is definitely happening.

    Absolutely hilarious that this dude got elected. Nepotism with no platform or substantial policies. I would like to hope that people will wake up and realize that nepotism has never worked for a long period of time and will never work for a long period of time….. but that is just “hope”…. reality in The Philippines is much different.

    Amazing you have a country with so much potential, yet the leaders are so beyond incompetent. And he only got elected because of Sara Duterte. Just absolutely hilarious and sad, the whole situation.

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