(UPDATE) President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Tuesday presided over his first Cabinet meeting, with the revival of the Philippine economy from the pandemic on top of the agenda.
Marcos' first Cabinet meeting took place five days after he was sworn-in as the 17th president of the Philippines.
"I think we can all understand that the most important area that we will have to deal with would have to be the economy," Marcos told Cabinet officials at the start of the meeting.
"The central policy actually that everybody else would be following will be that set out by our economic managers," he added.
In a press briefing after the Cabinet meeting, Marcos said they also talked about the plan to resume full face-to-face classes by November this year as well as how the government can subsidize the transport expenses of students going to school.
The president also told his Cabinet members to get things done quickly to accommodate reforms as soon as possible.
"I suppose if there's one single [marching order] is let's get our bureaucracy streamlined. I said I give you a relatively free hand in deciding who you want to hire and how you want to change the structure of your department if indeed that's what you want to do, but do it soon because we have work to do and we have to get to work immediately," Marcos said.
Marcos earlier said that while his administration started with the Philippines experiencing rising fuel and food prices and higher inflation, there is "elbow room to manage the challenges."
“We have all heard encouraging statements from the incoming economic managers led by outgoing Bangko Sentral governor and incoming finance chief, Benjamin Diokno, that our new administration will be taking off from sound economic fundamentals,” said Marcos, referring to an earlier briefer from his economic team.
“It will not be an easy road ahead, but we are not without the necessary wherewithal and elbow room to manage the challenges,” he added.