Whenever a government agency or a large private corporation celebrates a milestone such as an anniversary, a favorite guest to invite is the POTROTP. That acronym stands for President of the Republic of the Philippines, by the way, and it’s something we made up.
We know, we know. It’s not very likely to catch on, unlike POTUS, which is how the US prez is now called by American media.
By whatever title he is called, getting the President to attend an event is no small feat. No doubt, Malacanang declines more invitations than it accepts in his behalf because the President is such a busy man.
And when President Benigno Aquino 3rd decides to attend a function, expectations are that his speechwriters will politely come up with motherhood statements praising the executives and workers of that company or agency for a job well done.
These kind words will be delivered by the President, after which he shakes hands with as many people as possible, then has a bite, maybe even a smoke, before moving on to his next appointment.
Most of the time.
Sometimes, President Aquino will deliver remarks that leave organizers and top honchos of the organization celebrating a milestone aghast.
The other day, it was National Irrigation Administration (NIA) officials who were squirming in their seats as Mr. Aquino expressed his disappointment with their performance, or lack of it.
The President sounded like a dad scolding a son for doing poorly in school. Good thing he did not threaten to cut off the son’s allowance, or remove the perks that come with the NIA territory.
They may have earned the presidential scolding, but seeing grown men and women cry in public is still not a sight we will ever enjoy. Good thing they kept their emotions in check.
There’s a moral lesson here.
Since Mr. Aquino has already shown a propensity for not mincing words, under-performing government agencies should think twice before inviting the POTROTP.
Maybe they can invite the VPOTROTP instead?