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Good governance key to Marcos’ unity’ call, economic program

THOUSANDS of supporters of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. are unfazed by the rain during a free concert held in Manila on the evening of June 30 after his inauguration in the morning. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

By Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza, Reporter

PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. will have to pursue reforms for good governance to substantiate his campaign slogan of unity and pull off support towards economic recovery, according to political analysts and economists.

It would allow Mr. Marcos to tackle long-term challenges with the help of a broad array of sectors, they said.

“The pursuit of good governance reforms in his first 100 days would be a good way for President Marcos to give flesh to his campaign platform of unity,” said Francisco A. Magno, who teaches political science and development studies at the De La Salle University.

“This would entail measures that would improve citizen participation, public accountability, control of corruption, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, and rule of law,” he said in a Messenger chat.

Mr. Magno said promoting transparency and accountability in government and participatory leadership will boost business confidence. “These will pave the path to economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.”

John Paolo R. Rivera, an economist at the Asian Institute of Management, said a good governance agenda that values human rights is “good for the economy because everyone is given the opportunity to contribute to national productivity.”

“A good governance agenda that promotes participatory governance is important because this is what unity is about,” he said in a Viber message. “While government can do it by asking much from people, the participation of the citizenry is vital in ensuring success, sustainability of policies, and checks and balances.”

Good governance and human rights are mutually reinforcing, according to the United Nations’ Commission on Human Rights.

“Human rights standards and principles provide a set of values to guide the work of governments and other political and social actors,” it said in a website post. “Human rights principles inform the content of good governance efforts: they may inform the development of legislative frameworks, policies, programmes, budgetary allocations and other measures.”

It said that the rule of law and public service delivery are among the links between good governance and human rights.

Leonardo A. Lanzona, who teaches economics at the Ateneo De Manila University, said Mr. Marcos should ensure that he follows through the commitments he made during the campaign “in a way that does not violate the rule of law.”

“I think the priorities right now are short term in nature, getting through this hump and how to do it in a way that will be not damaging in the long term should be prioritized,” he said in a Messenger chat.

“In other words, he has to show he is qualified for the position and not just some member of a dynasty who may have won the elections illegitimately.”

Mr. Lanzona, meanwhile, said Mr. Marcos should immediately bare his pandemic recovery plan and inform the public about his economic priorities in his first 100 days in office.

Mr. Marcos has been hounded by a number of controversies during the campaign, including his family’s ill-gotten wealth and his failure to file income tax returns in the 1980s.

He and his family are also being urged to settle their unpaid estate tax that lawyers say has ballooned to more than P200 billion due to interests.

Maria Ela L. Atienza, a political science professor at the University of the Philippines, said it is important for both supporters and critics to continue pressing him “to address urgent issues” through specific programs, not motherhood statements.

“He tends to speak in general terms,” she said in a Viber message.

TRANSPARENCYOn Sunday, the presidential communications office said it will only be releasing statements on issues “where public interest is involved.”

This, after Malacañang reporters pressed the new administration to release a statement on the birthday celebration of Mr. Marcos’ mother at the presidential palace on July 2.

Former first lady Imelda R. Marcos, 93, was convicted for seven counts of graft in 2018. She appealed the ruling before the Philippine Supreme Court and was released on bail.

In a statement, a group of Martial Law detainees renewed its call for the matriarch and her children to be held accountable for the wealth they illegally acquired during the two-decade rule of their patriarch, the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos.

Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (Selda) said Filipinos should not forget the “sins” committed by the former first family.

“They exploited the blood and sweat of Filipinos for their lavish lifestyle for many decades — from 1965 up until today,” it said in Filipino.

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