FLAG RAISING MESSAGE. President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. speaks to employees during a flag raising ceremony at the Kalayaan Grounds of Malacañang Palace on Monday (July 4, 2022). The President hoped that the ceremony would be the start of a good working relationship with Palace employees. (Photo courtesy of Office of the President)

MANILA – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday attended his first flag-raising ceremony as the country’s chief executive, optimistic that he would have a good “working relationship” with government workers.

The flag-raising ceremony was held at the Kalayaan Grounds of the Malacañan Palace.

During his speech, Marcos recognized government workers for upholding public interest over personal interest, especially in the performance of their duties.

“I know how hard that you work at ginagawa ninyo bilang serbisyo at hindi kayo namimili, kung hindi kayo ay sumusunod kung sinuman ang napili ng ating mga mamamayan na umupo dito sa Palasyong ito (and you are doing public service and do not choose who to serve; you follow the leader chosen by our countrymen and whoever sits in this Palace),” he said.

He told government workers to expect changes in leadership style under his administration, but guaranteed that he would work with them as “partners” in governance.

“Alam niyo naman kani-kanilang style ‘yan. So may magbabago pero huwag ninyong aalalahanin…Hindi kayo ang empleyado namin (Every leader has their own style. So there will be changes, but do not worry. You’re not our employees). You are our partners. Hindi namin magagawa iyong gagawin namin kung hindi sa inyo (We will not be able to do what we need to do without you),” he added.

Marcos reiterated a call for unity in helping him address the problems of the country, saying he could not do everything alone.

“Marami kasi tayo — hindi naman kasi simpleng bagay ang trabahong ibinigay sa atin. Kaya naman kailangan natin at siguro naging tama talaga ang mensahe noong kampanya na magkaisa. Kaya’t pagkaisahan natin ito at kakayanin natin ito (There are many of us–the work designated to us is not easy. My call for unity during the campaign holds. Let us unite and we can handle anything),” he said.

He enjoined government workers to “keep up the good work” being done during the previous years.

“Gawin lang natin ang ating mga trabaho. And siguro one or two steps beyond kung ano lang ‘yung trabaho natin dahil ‘yan ang inaasahan sa atin ng ating mga kababayan (Let’s just do our jobs. And perhaps one or two steps beyond our jobs because that is what our countrymen area expecting),” he added.

Marcos reminded them that every action or decision made by the government affected the lives of millions of people.

“When you sit at your desk and you do something and you make a decision or you push something or you expedite something that affects not only you, not only me, that affects millions of people. Kaya’t napakaimportante na itama natin ‘yang ating gagawing trabaho (That is why we must do our jobs properly),” he said.

In her first Palace press briefing, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said Marcos has been settling in well for four days since he was sworn in as the country’s 17th President at the National Museum in Manila on June 30.

“So far, he is upbeat. That’s the observation we have made. He's very encouraging, he attended today's flag ceremony of course, as required. What I can say he’s always well-received so when he attended the flag (ceremony) medyo nakaka excite din (it was also exciting) to be with people who are working with him,” she said. (PNA)