“Since the president cannot do and exercise his or her power of control alone, he or she has to delegate some of his or her powers to the Cabinet members“
One of the first acts of an incoming president before he assumes his post is to form his Cabinet. The choice of who will compose the Cabinet is a critical step in every administration.
The Supreme Court, in the case of Philippine Institute for Development Studies v. Commission on Audit, explains the necessity of the Cabinet and the role its members play in government.
Thus, “The doctrine of qualified political agency acknowledges the multifarious executive responsibilities that demand a president’s attention, such that the delegation of control power to his or her Cabinet becomes a necessity.”
The delegated authority of the members of the Cabinet is further explained in Joson v. Torres, where the Court said that it has been established that “[t]he [p]resident shall have control of all the executive departments, bureaus, and offices” under the idea of the “establishment of a single executive[.]”
Since the president cannot do and exercise his or her power of control alone, he or she has to delegate some of his or her powers to the Cabinet members.
Marcos will be his own agriculture secretary. This is reassuring since achieving food self-sufficiency and security in the face of the current food crisis requires the president’s undivided attention.
Another sector facing severe crisis as a result of the pandemic is education as the country continues to reel from the impact of school closures because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vice-President Sara Duterte’s local governance experience should help her in the role. But she will have to give up the idea of a mandatory military service as that is a big distraction and is divisive.
Benhur Abalos served as Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chair of the Duterte administration, before being appointed secretary of Interior and Local Government.
I have worked with Abalos when he was Mandaluyong Mayor, and I can vouch for his competence and ability to do things.
Although Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla won as representative of Cavite’s 7th district in the last elections, he will serve as justice secretary.
Although a politician, I think Secretary Remulla is a lawyer’s lawyer and will be good for the rule of law.
His choice of a deputy, Undersecretary Raul Vasquez, a fellow professor at the University of the Philippines College of Law, reflects that.
The Executive Secretary, often referred to as the “Little President” is Vic Rodriguez, a lawyer and the spokesperson for the Marcos campaign.
Based on his performance in the elections, Rodriguez is the perfect alter ego of President Marcos. Antonio Lagdameo Jr., Special Assistant to and a close friend of the President, should complement him.
Secretary Trixie Angeles will run the communications operations of Malacañang. She knows social media well and will be able to help communicate the Marcos presidency directly to the people.
One hopes she will develop a healthy and non-antagonistic relationship with traditional media as that would be good for the country.
The new National Economic and Development Authority chief is Arsenio Balisacan, who served as former Philippine Socioeconomic Planning Secretary under the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III and in other capacities with previous presidents.
He just finished a stint as the first Chair of the Philippine Competition Commission. Balisacan is one of the few policy makers I know who understands poverty and inequality and what is needed to address these structural evils of our society.
Balisacan will be joined by other Marcos economic managers like Benjamin Diokno as Finance secretary, ex-UP President Alfredo Pascual as Trade and Industry chief, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, and Felipe Medalla as Central Bank Governor. They all have solid reputations.
The same can be said of the incoming Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, Public Works and Highways Secretary Jaime Bautista, and my UP Law contemporary Department of Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan Uy.
Incoming Labor and Employment chief Bienvenido Laguesma had worked for Corazon Aquino, Fidel V. Ramos, and Joseph Estrada. He will partner with Susan “Toots” Ople who will head the Department of Migrant Workers. A long-time migrant rights advocate, Ople is the best choice for this new agency.
Marcos appointed career diplomat Enrique Manalo to the foreign affairs portfolio. His diplomatic experience is invaluable if we are to navigate today’s complex world.
On the social welfare front, it would be interesting to see how Secretary Erwin Tulfo will perform. With the pandemic, he should work in tandem with the health secretary who is still to be named.
The heads of the energy and environment departments as well as the chairs and members of the Commission on Human Rights are also not yet announced. These are crucial positions.
Former military chief Jose Faustino as defense chief is one of the few appointees of Marcos with a military background.
That is one of the best characteristics of the Marcos Jr Cabinet, making it the least militarized Cabinet in recent years and especially in comparison to the Duterte Cabinet.
I have nothing against military officials, but they should not be appointed to civilian positions where they are not qualified.
In this context, one of the best appointments of Marcos is Professor Clarita Carlos. Brilliant, visionary, and independent minded, she will be a very different National Security Adviser from her predecessor who wrongly and foolishly reduced national security to anti-insurgency and a distorted understanding of terrorism.
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