Closely watched developments

The business community and investors as well are eagerly, some anxiously, awaiting who will be chosen to be part of the country’s next economic and financial team.

Presumptive president Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has said that he should be judged not by his ancestors, but by his actions.

Whether he likes it or not, his six-year term will be hounded by memories and shadow of his late father Ferdinand Marcos, by alleged ill-gotten wealth accumulation by the Marcos family, by the imposition of Martial Law and alleged human rights abuses when his father was still the president of the country, by claims that the young Marcos does not have it takes to run the government, and by accusations that the economy suffered during his father’s reign, and by cronyism.

But he is given a rare and distinct chance to prove his detractors wrong, to restore his family’s honor, and to create his own story.

He should start by setting aside political loyalties and by choosing the best of the best, especially when it comes to his economic and financial team.

After all, the Constitution does not require that a candidate for presidency should be someone with experience in governance or one with a high educational attainment. All that is required is that the elected President should be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least 40 years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the country for at least 10 years immediately preceding such election.

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This is because the President of the Republic is merely mandated to have control of the executive departments, bureaus and offices and to ensure that the laws are faithfully executed. Such control is delegated to the different members of his Cabinet as well as other government officials. But under the doctrine of command responsibility, he has to be accountable to the people for the actions of his subordinates.

The President of the Republic is not expected and should not micro manage the government. This is the reason why it is of utmost importance that the members of his Cabinet who will be chosen should have the knowledge, skills, integrity, the right mindset, and the best of intentions to be able to deliver effectively and efficiently what is expected of the government by the people.

The presumptive president has already named his election campaign manager Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos as interior secretary and presumptive vice-president Sara Duterte as education secretary.

The terms of Marcos and Duterte will commence on the afternoon of June 30 so there is ample time to vet carefully persons who are being considered to head the different executive departments and other critical government posts.

To have a better story for himself, Bongbong Marcos should pay particular attention to who will be part of his economic and financial team. After all, a healthy and vibrant economy augurs well for everybody and almost everything flows from there, including the delivery of basic social services.

It has been reported that Bongbong has indicated that economic growth will be key to restoring his family’s honor.

According to him, the economic managers are going to be critical in the next several years because of the pandemic and the economic crisis.

Among the names being floated to be the next finance secretary or at least part of the next economic management team are former Bank of the Philippine Islands president and CEO Cezar Consing, retired BDO senior executive vice president Walter Wassmer, Philippine National Bank president Wick Veloso, former finance secretary Cesar Purisima, and former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan.

It is the finance secretary who appoints the heads of the Bureau of Customs and the Bureau of Internal Revenue. The finance chief likewise sits in the Monetary Board. In short, the finance secretary will be largely responsible for making sure that the government will have sufficient funds in its coffers and for how to make that happen.

In a recent interview over ANC, investment banker Stephen Cuunjieng said that the quality of appointments to be made by Bongbong would give a very good signal to the public on how the new government will handle its mandate.

But more than who will be appointed, Cuunjieng cited the need for the incoming government to have clear policies.

So far, we’ve heard that the presumptive President wants to continue the Build, Build, Build infrastructure flagship program of the Duterte administration but he has not identified potential funding sources for it, which is important given that the country’s budget deficit has sharply widened during the pandemic.

Hopefully, these people who are being considered to be the next finance secretary would have a better idea and concrete plan on how to revive the economy.

Bongbong Marcos should make it his avowed goal to prove his detractors and critics wrong and his supporters right. They should not be able to say “I told you so,” six years from now. And for supporters of Bongbong, they should be proven correct when they said that the sins of the parents are not the sins of the son.

Not so hidden agenda

Mighty Sports, a staunch supporter of local sports development and world-class sports, has remained committed to its goal of uplifting the quality of Philippine basketball.

Just recently, Mighty Sports, together with Czark Mak Corporation, Mount Fuji Japanese Restaurant, and Polaries Industrial Estates, conducted a basketball coaching clinic in Dubai, UAE, with world-class coaches sharing their coaching knowledge and philosophies to Filipino players and coaches, both Filipinos and foreigners.

International coach Tab Baldwin and coach Charles Tiu of the College of St. Benilde basketball team in the NCAA headed out for Dubai to equip Filipino coaches and players based there with right skill set and technical knowledge.

Coach Tab currently serves as the head of the Gilas Pilipinas Youth national basketball program and head coach for the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the UAAP.

Tiu shared that they were surprised with the huge turnout as a lot of coaches came, some familiar faces having watched games of the Mighty Sports team over the years. He said that some of them even drove all the way from Abu Dhabi while a number of foreign coaches attended the clinic.

He emphasized that it was their small way of giving back to the Filipino community in Dubai that has supported Mighty Sports throughout the years.

During the clinic, players were also taught basic fundamentals of shooting, passing and rebounding. Around 80 coaches and fans attended the event.

Coach Tab has said that he always tries to make the game better for one reason, and that is because he loves the game.

He also told the attendees to live in the detail, to be careful on how they source information as coaches, adding that fundamentals are what build up the “whole” of everything and make it perfect and beautiful. He explained that analytics and statistics are important, but knowing how to use the pieces of information is more important.

He likewise shared that his favorite day of the year is the PBA draft, because that is when he sees the fruits of his labor and his mission of making his players grow and be the best version of themselves being accomplished, as they are drafted into the professional basketball league.

Mighty Sports last represented the country in the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Championship and was mentored by Tiu. It completed its dominant run, entering the finals undefeated, with a 92-81 win over Al Riyadi Lebanon, becoming the first team outside Middle East in 30 years to win the annual event.



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