Skip to main content

Ang ating mahal na Pangulo by Ducky Paredes

Posted in Malaya

I mean that literally. Gloria Arroyo has been our most expensive president - ever!

In 2007, the Office of the President spent a total of P249.5 million to pay the salaries and wages of its regular employees; and P10.7 million to pay casual and contractual employees.

That's P260.2 million to pay the rank and file of the Office of the President, and 58 other executive offices, agencies, commissions, and committees that report to the Office of the President.

But that's not all. Gloria Arroyo spent more than double that amount for her foreign (P585.5 million) and domestic (P34.1 million) travels, according to the Commission on Audit (COA)'s report on the 2007 financial transactions of MalacaƱang. This means an average of P49.04 million per month on foreign travel and P2.84 million on local travel!

She spent much more - P618.6 million - on "donations" to yet unknown beneficiaries, the COA report revealed. MalacaƱang, the COA report showed, spent similarly big amounts for broad, discretionary, and seemingly identical accounts, including: Confidential expenses P149 million; Consultancy services P59.6 million, Representation expenses P56.8 million, Representation allowance P14.5 million, Other bonuses and allowance P28.8 million, Transportation allowance P10.3 million, Advertising expenses P6.9 million, Additional compensation P24.8 million, Extraordinary expenses P6.64 million, Miscellaneous expenses P5.4 million, Other personnel benefits P119.8 million and Subsidy to Regional Offices/Staff Bureaus/Branch Offices P46.6 million

The COA report shows that apart from these amounts, the Office of the President also paid P21 million in "yearend bonus," P7.1 million in "cash gift," and P651,000 in "honoraria."

Gloria's household is also quite expensive. Look at these items: Food supplies expenses P55.7 million or P4.6 million a month; Electricity P54.5 million or an average of P4.5 million a month; Gasoline, oil and lubricants P27.9 million or P2.3 million a month; Water P25.4 million or P2.1 million a month; Security services P13 million or P1.08 million a month; Janitorial services P4.8 million or P400,000 a month; Telephone, landline P13.5 million or P1.1 million a month; Telephone, mobile P9.07 million or P755,000 a month; Office supplies P13.5 million or P1.1 million a month; "Other supplies" P19.4 million or P1.6 million a month; Subscription expenses P1.04 million or P86,000 a month; Cooking gas P892,000 or P74,000 a month; Internet P332,597 or P27,716 a month and Cable, satellite, telegraph and radio P300,955 or P25,079 a month.

When we call her our "mahal na Pangulo," that must be what we mean. Napakamahal talaga, di ba?.


Popular posts from this blog

The Heart of Summer, a short story

On the first day of April, we moved to a row house in a subdivision carved out of the Antipolo hills. A row house is a nice word for houses that somehow managed to fit into 120-square-meter lots. They looked like matchboxes, really, built near the riverbank. The larger houses, of course, stood grandly at the center of the village, in front of the chapel. We’d be renting the house from the mayor’s mistress, one of three houses she owned there.

The living room of the house spilled over into the kitchen. The house only had two tiny rooms, but it was enough for us. The owner of the apartment we had been renting in Project 4 wrote to us (in pink stationery with the letterhead “Dr. Antonina Raquiza, Ph. D.”) to say that she’d raise the monthly rent to five thousand. If we couldn’t agree to her new terms, we’d have two months to leave. Mama glared at the letter, then said something obscene about our landlady’s father. A day later, she began poring over the ads, looking for cheaper rent in …

A teacher's tales

by Danton Remoto
Remote Control

I’ve been teaching for 22 years – the longest job I’ve had. This will be my last year of teaching. I will take sabbatical leave beginning April 2009 – a paid leave for one year that senior professors take every seven years, to sleep the sleep of the and come back to school fully energized. But in my case, I will not just sleep and read and gain weight. I will spend my sabbatical leave organizing Ang Ladlad’s campaign, and my own political campaign, for the May 2010 elections.

But because I stayed here longest, that means I love this job. I admire those who’ve spent 30, 40 years teaching without repeating themselves. They’ve taught for 30, 40 different years, not just one year repeated 30, 40 times. Teachers like the now-departed Dr. Doreen G. Fernandez and the retired, but still teaching, Professor Emmanuel “Eric” Torres come to mind. Both have taught with us at the English Department of the Ateneo de Manila University.

Doreen and Eric …

Review of "Pulotgata" The Love Poems"

This is a review of my book that I just read in the Internet today. It was written by Ralph Semino Galan of UST and was published in the Inquirer. It comes in two parts.

Honeymooning with Words, Part I
by Ralph Semino Galan

Love is a favorite subject among Filipino poets, regardless of gender. For despite the influx of modern and postmodern ideologies, the pervasive influence of the Romantic spirit is still prevalent in Philippine literature, especially in poetry. It therefore comes as no surprise that even a gay-identified writer like Danton Remoto has composed extensively verses expressing the intricacies of love and lust, desire and devotion, passion and compassion.

In his third book of poetry aptly titled "Pulotgata: The Love Poems" (Pasig City: Anvil Publishing, Inc, 2004, 88 pages), Remoto delves the depths of the human heart through lyrics in English and Filipino that sing of the anxiety and the excitement, the agony and the ecstasy which accompany the act of love.

The …