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House leaders give P-Noy "8" points for 'remarkable job'

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The leaders at the House of Representatives rated President Benigno S. Aquino III a high mark of "8" points for a "remarkable job" in his first year of presidency.

House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., at the Ugnayan sa Batasan forum on Tuesday, said he was giving the President an eight-point ratings with 10 as the highest score.

"As of now, I would say 8. He (Aquino) has set the new tone on government and he ultimately helped all of us," he said.

House Majority Leader and Mandaluyong City Rep. Neptali Gonzales II echoed the Speaker’s score and gave the same rating.

Gonzales slammed critics who claimed that those who voted for the President made a mistake.

"For those who said we were wrong in electing Noynoy, maybe because they got used to people losing trust in government. They got numbed to corruption and anomalies. However, the President brought back the people’s trust in governance. I voted for him, I do not believe I made the wrong decision," he said.

Gonzales said the President should be credited for the reforms he had initiated in his first year in office.

For his part, Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya, chairman of the House committee on appropriations, rated the President 9.5 with the 0.5 "for his lonely lovelife."

Abaya said under the circumstances and taking off from a government that was accused of corruption, the President has "done a remarkable job to bring back the trust and respect in government."

"The other 0.5 is his lovelife," he said.

Other lawmakers also gave President Aquino an "excellent" mark in his first year into the presidency due to his focused commitment of getting rid of graft and corruption in the government.

The lawmakers pointed out that while public relations may not be the President's strongest suit, "his honesty and dedication to serve public good is really beyond question."

"Overall, the President has done excellently well in achieving much of his campaign commitments," said Iloilo Rep. Jerry Trenas, chair of the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability.

Trenas noted, in particular, the positive reforms that is now taking place in the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), which now ensures the judicious use of funds in various public works projects nationwide.

He said the Aquino government's policy on the judicious use of public funds without compromising his (Aquino) commitment to uplift the lives of the country's poorest of the poor through the expansion of the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program "is the best proof of the government's improving fiscal discipline, transparency and accountability."

Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento also believes that the President has done extremely well in his first year into the presidency and has remained true to his commitment of his administration's pursuit for a "tuwid na daan" (righteous path) in running the government.

"The President has done extremely both as President and as an icon of good governance. I think that, despite all the criticisms thrown at his administration, nobody, not even the opposition, can dispute the fact that things are getting better for our country and for our people," he said.

Meanwhile, Abaya assured that the House will pass the proposed national budget for 2012, which Malacanang will submit to Congress after the State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) of the President on Monday (July 25), before the year ends.

The House appropriations committee chair also confirmed that Malacanang has asked for a P1.8-trillion budget for next year.

He said even without additional taxes to be imposed by the government, the proposed increased in next year's outlay is possible.

Abaya is confident that the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for 2012 will be approved by Congress by Dec. 15. (PNA)

By Lilybeth G. Ison




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