‘Ano bang punto?’: Gov’t asked ahead of Bagong Pilipinas kick-off rally

January 25, 2024 - 5:36 PM
The Presidential Communications Office (PCO), through its Freedom of Information Program Management Office (FOI-PMO), formally opened the 14th Edition of the International Conference of Information Commissioners (ICIC) on 19 June 2023 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). (Presidential Communications Office / Released)

Several Pinoys raised questions about the objectives of the government’s upcoming “Bagong Pilipinas” kick-off rally more than a year after the current president took office was announced on social media.

The Presidential Communications Office (PCO) on Tuesday announced that it is inviting Filipinos to attend the rally at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila on Sunday, January 28.

“Halina at maging parte ng pagbabago para sa ating sarili, komunidad, at bayan,” it said on its Facebook page.

“Ipagpatuloy natin ang ating nasimulang pagbabago!” the office said in another post.

The kick-off rally will start at 6 p.m. on Sunday, but “some exciting performances from various artists” are said to be staged beginning at 3 p.m.

The PCO said that several government officials, celebrities and other personalities are expected to attend.

It did not give further details about the objectives of the event, but there would be road closures in certain parts of Manila like Rizal Park and all roads leading to the venue.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) also said that the following will be closed to traffic:

  • Roxas Boulevard (Blvd.) from U.N. Avenue (Ave.) to P. Burgos Ave., including M. Kalaw (both sides from Roxas Blvd. to Taft Ave.)
  • Burgos Ave. (both sides and Finance Road (Rd.)
  • Orosa Street (St.)
  • Bonifacio Drive (Dr.) — from Anda Circle to P. Burgos Ave.

As of Thursday, the MMDA has towed vehicles that it said were illegally parked in Tondo for the kick-off rally.

In his New Year message, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. urged Filipinos to strive to fulfill their respective New Year’s resolutions as he highlighted their importance to the “Bagong Pilipinas” (New Philippines) campaign of the administration to usher the nation toward change and development.

He added that one of the best steps toward a “Bagong Pilipinas” is the individual and community involvement as he emphasized that it will only be achieved with the participation of the Filipino people.

The kick-off rally announcement earned questions and criticisms from Pinoys who asked the significance and objectives of the event more than a year after the Marcos administration began.

“May road closure because of this sa Sunday. Pero ano bang kabuluhan nito?” a Pinoy on the X (formerly Twitter) platform commented.

“Stop misusing tax funds on projects like this. Lift this gov’t thru POVERTY ALLEVIATION measures and kick-off NON-PERFORMING dept. [secretaries]!” another user wrote.

“Baka naman party party lang ito na gastos na naman ng tax payers?” a different Pinoy asked.

“Ilang bus kaya ang makikita natin? Ano bang punto nito? Lol,” asked another Filipino.

A different user recalled a campaign promise made by the president before about lowering the rice price to P20 per kilo in relation to the kick-off rally,

“Nakakailang Bagong Pilipinas na! Pero ‘yung presyo ng bigas, hindi pa rin maibaba sa P20 per kilo. Kalokohan lang ‘yang Bagong Pilipinas,” the user commented.

Another one asked if the kick-off rally’s timing implied something about the administration’s work ethic.

Ngayon pa lang sila mag-start mag-work??? #askingforafriend,” wrote the user, referring to the current administration’s governance slogan that was launched in July 2023, over a year since Marcos took office. 

Marcos in July 2023 ordered national government agencies to adopt his administration’s governance slogan “Bagong Pilipinas” in their programs and projects. 

RELATED: Marcos rebrands government with ‘Bagong Pilipinas’ logo, theme

A memorandum from his office directed all government agencies, corporations and state universities and colleges to be guided by the principles, strategies and objectives of his brand of governance.

It said the new campaign is “characterized by a principled, accountable and dependable government.”

According to the memorandum, all national government agencies should incorporate the “Bagong Pilipinas” logo in their letterheads, websites, official social media accounts and other documents related to flagship programs of the government.

It added that the administration is committed to “embody a brand of governance and leadership that is focused on implementing an all-inclusive plan for economic and social transformation” as part of “attaining a promising future for the nation.”

The memorandum further states that “Bagong Pilipinas” is the overarching theme of the Marcos’ administration’s brand of governance and leadership “which calls for deep and fundamental transformations in all sectors of society and government.”

“Bagong Pilipinas is characterized by a principled, accountable and dependable government reinforced by unified institutions of society, whose common objective is to realize the goals and aspirations of every Filipino,” it said.

“Bagong Pilipinas” is reminiscent of the “Bagong Lipunan (New Society)” vision of his late father, ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

In declaring Martial Law, the elder Marcos made several promises such as ending poverty, hunger, corruption, and violence in order to achieve his vision of a “new society.”

Meanwhile, former president Rodrigo Duterte used the “Change is Coming” slogan, while late former president Noynoy Aquino used the “Daang Matuwid.”