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Aquino no ‘9-to-5’ guy, says Palace


05:45 AM November 21st, 2012

By: TJ Burgonio, November 21st, 2012 05:45 AM

President Benigno Aquino. AFP

President Aquino a 9-to-5 guy? Not at all.

Malacañang on Tuesday bristled at business consultant Peter Wallace’s comments that the President had failed to achieve some key reforms because he went about the work of running the country’s affairs like it was a regular day job.

If he worked only eight hours a day, the President “would not have achieved the things he has achieved” in the past two years, said deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte.

“It’s safe to assume that Mr. Wallace doesn’t have a working relationship with the President and has no personal knowledge of how the President works,” she said in a press briefing.

“Because if you ask anybody who has come in close and regular contact with the President, they will tell you otherwise,” she said.

Wallace, who heads the Wallace Business Forum, ascribed the President’s high popularity ratings and high business confidence in the country to Mr. Aquino’s consistency in fighting corruption.

However, Mr. Aquino does not seem to have the commitment and enthusiasm to see the reforms through, he said.

In a presentation he made to business and government leaders the other day, Wallace said Mr. Aquino should realize that leadership was a full-time job, requiring putting in more hours than a regular 9-a.m.-to-5-p.m. job.

“It is time for him to do two jobs. He is the President, not P-noy,” he said.

Wallace said the President needed to exercise political will to get vital infrastructure built, spend the budget to spur economic growth, resolve the open-pit mining ban, and upgrade the air-safety ranking of the Philippines.

Valte belied Wallace’s claims, and suggested that “maybe it’s better for Mr. Wallace to listen to the views of the other agencies on what we’re doing.”

As to whether expenditures were sufficient to boost economic growth, Valte said anyone could check the websites of the Department of Budget and Management and the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) for updates.

“Let’s access the DBM website, and check our disbursements and expenses. Let’s check the nitty-gritty of the GDP (gross domestic products) reports of the Neda so we can see what the government is doing and not just rely on the surveys,” she said.

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