MANILA, Philippines -- The ``tuwid na daan? (straight and right path) mantra of President Benigno Aquino III will be applied to the Christmas parties being planned by government agencies.
Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said on Sunday the President has ordered government employees to keep their Christmas celebrations simple as part of the austerity measures adopted by the government.
``Christmas is of course included in our appeal for austerity measures. We can hold Christmas parties that are not too grand because in essence, we only want to celebrate Christmas with our office mates,?? said Valte in an interview with dzRB or Radyo ng Bayan.
President Aquino has gone out of his way to differentiate his administration from that of his predecessor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, which has been severely criticized for its grandiose ways despite the widening budget deficit.
The President and his lean entourage ate hotdog for lunch at a New York sidewalk during his trip to the US while former President Arroyo and her bloated delegation of lawmakers enjoyed an expensive dinner at the Le Cirque on July 30, 2009.
Valte said that the government was still grappling with a shortage of funds, which was why Budget Secretary Florencio Abad Jr. had not yet announced whether the government could afford to give out extra bonuses for government employees.