PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd on Thursday was annoyed by some Cabinet members coming in late for a meeting of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Board in Malacanang.

    Palace sources said the President was annoyed when only a few members of the Cabinet, who are concurrent members of the Neda Board, made it to the meeting on time. The meeting was scheduled at 1 p.m. and Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. cut short his regular news briefing so he could attend.
    A Manila Times source, who was inside the meeting room, said Aquino kept on looking at the clock. “Let’s give them the last two minutes and then shut the door,” he said.

    Other Palace sources said the President was livid over reports that the economy slowed in the first quarter of the year and for that the Neda meeting was very important to him.

    After his “last two minutes,” he called the meeting to order and began with the usual prayer.

    Among those who did not arrive on time was Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, who has been taking heavy criticism over his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam and the poor showing of the agriculture sector, which contributed a paltry amount to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

    “The meeting is usually attended by all Cabinet secretaries but they started the meeting incomplete,” the source said.

    In his briefing, Coloma said the President will convene and preside over the Neda meeting to discuss with heads of various agencies their projects in different parts of the country: Department of Public Works and Highways (road and interchange projects in National Capital Region or Metro Manila, Region I and Region IV-A), Local Water Utilities Administration (water district development project), Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (Angat Water Transmission Improvement Project), Department of Transportation and Communications (Light Rail Transit Line 2 Operations and Maintenance Project), National Irrigation Administration (Umayam River Irrigation Project) and Department of Health (government hospital modernization)

    “We note the report of the Neda that the Philippine economy as measured by the [GDP] grew by 5.7 percent despite the natural calamities that hit the country during the last quarter of 2013. This figure shows a 0.8 percent decrease from the 6.5 percent growth recorded in the fourth quarter of 2013. The country’s performance is the third highest in Asia, next to China’s 7.4 percent and Malaysia’s 6.2 percent,” the President said.

    According to Neda, the country remains on track to reach its full-year growth target of between 6.5 percent and 7.5 percent as the government speeds up rehabilitation, construction and recovery projects that will rebuild assets, restore supply chains and strengthen capacity-building, especially for people and communities affected by Typhoon Yolanda, Coloma explained.

    “In order to boost economic growth, the government will continue to implement the strategies in the updated Philippine Development Plan. To further boost employment, the Department of Labor and Employment will focus on implementing job-creation facilitation programs targeted at businesses that are expanding operations,” he said.

    Coloma added that the government will focus on increasing investments in these priority sectors that Neda believes can provide jobs necessary for inclusive growth, especially in the marginalized sectors.


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    1. Sa oras pa lang wala ng disiplina ang mga gabinete ni Pnoy, ibig sabihin hindi niya kontrolado ang mga tao niya, hindi siya nirerespeto, paano niya kukumbinsihin na magtrabaho ng maayos ang mga ito sa oras pa lang ay papaog paog na sila. Baka naman pinamihasa niya o siya mismo ay late din sa ibang mga meeting niya kaya ginagaya lang siya ng mga tauhan niyang mga pasaway. Hanggat walang dsiplina ang mga tao niya wala ding mangyayari sa gusto niyang Tuwid na Daan, dapat mapasunod muna niya ang mga pasaway na ito bago niya magawa ang gusto niyang tuwid na daan. Mga namamaluktot pa sa kama ang mga iyan at parelax relax samantalang naghihintay ang mga kasamahan niya sa meeting room.

    2. Joker Abnoy on

      He he he! Walang respeto eh! What do you expect? Pare-pareho din sila …late comers din sa special events ang boss nila, eh sila kapag late- pagagalitan? Ha ha ha! At ano naman daw ang pag-uusapan, eh kakain lang naman kayo na ang perang pinagbili ninyo ng tsibog ay galing sa taumbayan? Ano ba yan?

    3. I remember when margaret thatcher was prime minister of the uk no cabinet member would be late for any meeting with her. The only excuse she would accept is if they were at deaths door. They did not take libertys with her, but here time keeping is a thing every pinoy does not understand, you call it filipino time. Its basic discipline, most in this country dont have it.

      • iriga city boy on

        To Dustin,
        Yes,Pare.They are always tardy, but not tardy at all when they have to sign paperworks to facilitate instant money from the PDAF or Malampaya Funds.And they spring into action right away that some politicians even go right away to those offices to get the funds ASAP( that’s what the whistleblowers are saying).What we keep reading and finding out ,is that they demand the “moolah’ right away’.

    4. iriga city boy on

      Holy macaroni!! cabinet members came in late and have the President wait for a meeting of paramount importance?
      Tardiness is a habit of the Filipinos.No wonder that when disasters strike,the response is always tardy and late.No foresight,preparation and planning.
      This habit had been with the country for centuries.For being tardy: “Every occurrence,more shoals,reefs,lagoons are being gobbled up by the Red Chinese.For being late,the intruders will be in Busuanga soon.”
      Kawawang Pilipinas!! ayaw pa ring sugpuin ang mga maling ugali/attitude.