QUEZON CITY — “We are here to repair a house divided, to make it whole and to stand strong again in the bayanihan way expressive of our nature as Filipinos.”

This was the vow of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to all Filipinos as he took his oath as the 17th President of the Philippines at the National Museum of Fine Arts, June 30.

In his speech delivered during his inauguration, Marcos Jr. said he believes that if everyone focused on the work at hand, the country will go far under his watch.

“We will go further together than against each other. Pushing forward, not pulling each other back out of fear, out of a misplaced sense of weakness. But we are the furthest from weak.”

The President assured everyone that he fully understands the gravity of his responsibilities. He said he does not take it lightly and he is ready for the task.

Photo by: Celso Quesea – PIA CPSD

He also underscored the advantages of having a government that is responsive to the needs of its people.

“Imagine how much more you’d achieve if government backstops instead of dictating your decisions. Always there to pick you up when you fall; giving what you need to get past a problem. Imagine if it invested in your self-empowerment to bring it closer to taking on whatever challenges come. Imagine, a country that, in almost every sense, is you. Now imagine what you and government can achieve together,” he said.

Marcos Jr., who will also serve as Agriculture secretary said he would improve food sufficiency.

“Food sufficiency must get the preferential treatment the riches free trade countries always gave their agricultural sectors. Their policy boils down to “Don’t do this, we do. Do what we tell you to.” I’m giving that policy the most serious thought if it doesn’t change or make more allowances for emergencies with long-term effects,” he declared.

He said his administration is drawing up a comprehensive, inclusive plan for economic transformation.

“We will build back better by doing things in the light of the experiences that we have had, both good and bad, it doesn’t matter. No looking back in anger or nostalgia.”

He appealed to everyone to come together and give the country the nudge it needs to turn faster in order to repair and rebuild it while facing challenges innovatively.

“Come, let us put our shoulders to the wheel and give that wheel a faster turn to repair and to rebuild and to address challenges in new ways to provide what all Filipinos need, to be all that we can.”

Photo by: Darwin Gernale – PIA CPSD

With faith and commitment, Marcos Jr. also said that the Filipinos dreams are his dreams and he will make them come true.

“Your dreams are mine. Pangarap niyo ay pangarap ko. How can we make them come true? How can we do it together? But I will take it as far as anyone with the same faith and commitment can as if it depended entirely on himself.”

Ending his inaugural address, he expressed his confidence for the future, “Believe. Have hope. The sun also rises like it did today and as it will tomorrow. And as surely as that, we will achieve the country all Filipinos deserves.”

President Marcos Jr.’s oath taking was administered by Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo. (Edela Cruz and ABancud – PIA CPSD)

Photo by: Darwin Gernale – PIA CPSD