Work and Pray

Bongbong had a unique childhood, to say the least. He was exposed to, not just politics per se, but the presidency itself, at an early age.

June 3, 2022

 

Now that the incoming administration is shaping up with more new appointments in the different levels of government, attention starts to shift to the work that lies ahead.

If he lets it, President-elect Bongbong Marcos may get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work to be done. “My father sort of wanted me to enter politics,” BBM revealed in a 2017 interview that was quoted by an online article.

Bongbong had a unique childhood, to say the least. He was exposed to, not just politics per se, but the presidency itself, at an early age. In his 20s, he was already governor of Ilocos Norte, the same article said.

In other words, BBM is no stranger to the kind of world that a president inhabits. More than that, he is familiar with the ins and outs of the Palace job, if that can be a term for it.

Being President is undoubtedly one of the most difficult, complicated, challenging, but ultimately rewarding jobs in the world.

These days, it is even more significant — with the planet declining and the values and norms transformed by major events like a pandemic and an impactful war.

The Philippines is no longer the same. In the past, speaking of “work,” the perennial issue of “better labor conditions for the country’s workforce” would center around wage hikes.

Nowadays, this could mean something more, such as work-life balance and physical health and mental wellness concerns.

It’s a good thing that labor is among the priorities of BBM. The Partido Federal ng Pilipinas standard-bearer spoke about it during the campaign season, saying that “all the other agencies that deal with the labor sector should be streamlined,” a report said, in the same way that a department dedicated to migrant workers was created.

A news release quoted him: “I will have to put the layout in detail because the issue has become so involved. Maraming dapat ayusin, structurally maraming dapat ayusin. Dapat i-streamline ang mga agencies, dahil masyado nang marami [ang mga opisina], ang mga workers natin, nalilito kung saan sila dapat lumapit (Structurally, there are many things to fix. Agencies should be streamlined because there are too many them that confuse our workers where to go).”

Streamlining is, indeed, the name of the game nowadays. From government officials to daily wage earners, priorities had changed radically in the past two years alone, and the surge in workforce shifts is one proof of that.

One wonders, in the world occupied by one Bongbong Marcos, how the past — not just the past two years — had transformed his view of life, of the Philippines, his countrymen, the ever amiable Filipinos.

When he takes office by 30 June, will BBM stand out in our consciousness for his own unique take on leading this perennially boggled nation? But one thing is for sure, Bongbong has his own mind about all the key issues that he stands to inherit once he starts to live in Malacañang.

This early, his choices for Cabinet secretaries have been surprising in two ways: First, they are not all known as Marcos allies; and second, some are names that not many would have considered prime candidates for the job.

If we are to be candid about it, there will always be those who would think that Bongbong is not that either, for the presidency. Those who have worked with him and know him attest to his keen intelligence and depth of knowledge about the key issues we continue to face to this day.

The question now is: How will he wade through the work ahead?