Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. addressed the nation for the first time as president on Thursday, promising reforms that will benefit all Filipinos and a government that will get things done.
In his inaugural address, which ran for around 20 minutes, Marcos Jr. said that his administration would build on his campaign message of unity and bring Filipinos closer together over the next six years of his term.
"I believe that if we focus on the work at hand, and the work that will come to hand, we will go very far under my watch. You believe that too," he said.
"The changes we shape will benefit all and will shortchange no one. I was not the instrument of change, you were that. You made it happen. I am now," he added.
Marcos took his oath at exactly 12 noon before Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo, witnessed by his wife, First Lady Liza Marcos, and sons Sandro, Simon, and Vinny.
With over 31 million Filipinos voting for him in the May 9 elections, the biggest since democratic elections resumed in 1992, Marcos Jr. said he would not take his new role lightly.
"I will need your help. I want to rely on it but rest assured I do not predicate success on the wide cooperation that’s needed. I will get it done," he added.
Coming from a gruelling three-month campaign, Marcos Jr. realized that Filipinos hope for a peaceful land, a better life for their children, and a more prosperous country.
"Your dreams are mine. Ang pangarap niyo ay pangarap ko. How can we make them come true? How can we do it together?" he said.
"Sa pangarap na maging mapayapa ang ating bansa, ang pangarap niyo ay pangarap ko. Sa pangarap na maging maunlad ang ating bansa, ang pangarap niyo ay pangarap ko. At sa pangarap na maging mas masinag ang kinabukasan natin at ng ating mga anak, ang parangap niyo ay pangarap ko," he added.
Marcos Jr. enumerated the problems currently facing the country, such as the rising prices of fuel and basic commodities, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the need to revive the economy, pollution among others.
He promised the Filipino people: "You will not be disappointed. So do not be afraid."
"With every difficult decision that I must make, I will keep foremost in my heart and in my mind the debt of gratitude I owe you for the honor and responsibility that you have conferred on me," he said.
"Whatever is in a person to make changes for the better of others, I lay before you now in my commitment, I will try to spare you. You have other responsibilities to carry but I will not spare myself from shedding the last bead of sweat or giving the last ounce of courage and sacrifice," he added.
As he ended his speech, Marcos Jr. said he was confident of the future because he has "110 million reasons" to do his job well.
"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 deserve," he added.
Hundreds of people turned up at the National Museum to personally listen to Marcos Jr.’s inaugural speech, which is expected to set the tone for his administration for the next six years.
“The inaugural speech is supposed to emphasize his administration's mission and vision about how and to what direction they want to take the country," UP political science professor Ma. Ela Atienza told reportr in an earlier interview.
"The speech will also give a clue as to the priority areas of the president,” she added.
Following his inauguration, Marcos Jr. proceeded to Malacañang Palace, which also marked his family’s return to the country’s seat of power 36 years after they were forced into exile at the end of his father’s 21-year rule.
Marcos Jr. is set to administer the oath of his Cabinet members in Malacañang, and join his family, friends, allies, and foreign dignitaries in an inaugural dinner in the evening. A thanksgiving concert will also be held.