By Jay Ledesma

Passing the baton 

TODAY, June 30, we saw the passing of the baton from outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte to incoming President Bongbong Marcos. It was a smooth and orderly transition of leadership, power, and authority.   

We say goodbye and express appreciation to PPRD for his six years of presidency. He may not be perfect and had his flaws and misgivings as a leader. His decisions and choices may not always be right and popular or his demeanors and language may cause people to frown. Much could have been done but still, we are thankful for his dedication, sincerity, and commitment to serving our country, especially during the height of the pandemic crisis. The last 2 1/2 years were tough years for any president or leader. We appreciate the many projects his administration has undertaken that benefited our countrymen.  He left his post still with the highest approval rating.

The baton has now been passed to Pres BBM, who will lead and shape our country in the next 6 years. Many are still doubting his integrity and capability to lead our country but 31M Filipinos believed and voted him to be the new President. A resounding mandate from the Filipino electorates. In his inaugural speech, he enumerated the plans and programs he promised to do in his 6 years as President (so did all the presidents before him). If we are just to listen to them, we are looking forward to something bigger, brighter, and better for our country.  But we know that the real proof of the pudding is in the eating. What he will prioritize in his first 100 days, the decisions and choices he will make, and how he will be implementing and following through with his programs and initiatives in the coming months will tell us if he will be true to his words and promises.  In his own words, “there are no excuses, just deliver!” And Mr. President, we will hold you on that!

For any incoming leader, the topmost in their concern is to learn, lead and deliver, especially since we need to come out and bounce back quickly from the “casualties” of the pandemic. We need our President to provide clarity, build trust, respect and credibility and deliver results.

Clarity and communication. The entire nation is hopeful about the new administration and wants a clear vision and direction from its Commander-in-Chief. We expect to hear the President's vision for our country and the direction where he intends to bring the Filipinos. With so many pressing matters that need to be attended to, having clear goals and priorities is critical for a leader. Many lauded his move to immediately form his economic team and his choice of its members, as it shows his appreciation and resolves to address the current economic condition of the country. He's taking on the job to concurrently head the Department of Agriculture and is sending the message that he is prioritizing and taking the food shortage problem seriously. The Filipinos need to hear and see more of what you will do and are doing, so we know how we are progressing and how we can help in our own ways. We look forward to the regular President’s report which should be more thorough and clear, so people will not speculate and spread fake news.             

Trust and credibility. It’s no joke to have the votes of 31M Filipinos, who trust and believe that one person can make a difference in their lives as their President.  But BBM got that!  Amidst the detractions and negative publicities, he still got the highest votes in the history of the presidential election. Despite the unfavorable political reputation of his family, still, millions of Filipinos put their faith in him to change their lives for the better. He is starting his journey with the support and backing of 31M Filipinos, which is a plus factor for any leader. It’s a blessing that should not be taken for granted.  But when not properly nurtured and with wrong intentions and actions, this trust can easily dissipate into thin air. BBM needs to sustain, if not even increase the number of people trusting him by making sure he keeps his campaign promises, put the interest and welfare of the Filipinos first, and lead with integrity and sincerity.    

Delivery of results. Getting the highest votes is not only a show of trust but is also a resounding reminder that Filipinos expect results from the President. This puts the needed pressure on him knowing that millions are closely watching him, expecting that he will deliver on what he promised and committed to. Delivering his campaign promise of unity, one may observe that his cabinet is composed of individuals coming from different affiliations and past administrations. A good way to start the unity in a polarized electorate. I personally hope and am encouraged that BBM will deliver because of two reasons: First, he will not want to let down, disappoint and put in vain the 31M votes of trust he received. He has to show that he deserved the trust given to him. Second, he needs this chance to clean and redeem Marcos' name and prove to his detractors that people should and can be given a second chance.    

Whether we voted for him or not, BBM is now our President. And as our President, he will need our support and cooperation to bring our country forward. We can pray and do our part to make him succeed. Let’s be mindful that when he succeeds, the Filipinos succeed!   


About the Columnist

Image of Jay Ledesma

Ms. Jay Ledesma writes about local tourism and business bits that delve on investments and insurance.