Bare Truth by Rose de la Cruz
Bare Truth

The 'traveling-est' President

Nov 23, 2022, 12:59 AM
Rose De La Cruz

Rose De La Cruz


The hyperbole was intended to show that the current president—from his admission and based on his travel record in just five months in office—is absolutely the most traveling chief executive. Of course, taxpayers must mind because each travel entails a huge entourage—from his office alone, from the RTVM, the Malacanang Press Office, Protocol, the legislators, immediate family members, the press office, the Cabinet and business delegation and so many hangers on. Each travel entails chartering one PAL flight and accommodating the entourage in hotels and transportation and so forth.

Others may argue that the trips are paid for by those accompanying him. Given that their individual offices are footing the bill, these are still being paid for by taxpayers’ money. The businessmen, they would ultimately charge it to their operating cost and if they are into consumer goods, the costs are passed on to consumers through some hocus pocus.

Still others may argue that the president, being the chief salesman/promoter of his country, is able to forge ties, trade and investment agreements and potential investments coming into the country. Potential, not actual. So in the end, nada.

I already found his numerous trips these past five months too much, including (by his own admission) his mother, the flamboyant former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos, who asked him “kailan ka pa nagtatrabaho” (which means she is worried that he is doing nothing directly for the country in terms of issues and challenges facing it).

Even more dumbfounding is that in the last ASEAN and APEC meetings, he proudly boasted that he had been receiving invites from several foreign leaders to visit their country and that he intends to just do it, the only question is scheduling. What?! You mean he would still not be working in the few weeks or months he would be here? And indeed, he would start 2023 by visiting China and befriend its leader—just like his predecessor—to beg for more money and forget about territorial integrity. In his speeches he claimed to do everything to protect our sovereignty and all that is ours, but can he really?

Come to think of it, he acquired his travel bug by growing up in a family that used to travel until the health of his father failed him. He grew up in the palace by the Pasig and like every spoiled brat had the best in life without working for it, so why should he work for it now that he is president.

Marcos Jr. is scheduled to attend the Asean-EU Summit in Belgium in December and embark on a state visit to China in January.

He recently accepted the invitation of Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc to visit Vietnam next year, after holding bilateral meeting on the sidelines of APEC.

He told reporters that aside from Vietnam, his fellow leaders also invited him to visit New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Australia, France, Brunei, and Thailand. “What countries have invited me? All. What countries will I accept? All,” he said in jest.

“So I’d like to go to them all at some point. But you know the scheduling, I have to go back to Manila and we also have a lot to fix and finish,” he added. AS IF.

He said his travels abroad were “always very useful,” citing that the leaders of France and Canada attended the Apec summit here even if they came from across the globe. Mind you they all entail expenditure like the one of France, which is offering to develop nuclear plants here, those are not for free.

“Like for example, it’s really surprising, France, Canada, these are far away [countries], but they come,” he said.

“They come because it is well recognized that the Asia-Pacific region is still going to be the driver of the global economy, which is starting already again,” he added.

So now we have a full view of the kind of president we have, someone who loves travels, parties and dining out.

He has not even appointed his entire Cabinet and he keeps changing his officials in the executive department.

As it stands now, the Cabinet and the entire machinery are working without him.

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