GMA  STILL  SATISFIED  WITH  CABINET,  SAYS  ERMITA

MANILA, DECEMBER 25, 2008
(STAR) If President Arroyo’s demeanor in recent Cabinet meetings at the Palace is any indication, Cabinet officials continue to enjoy her trust and confidence amid an ongoing performance review of members of her official family, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said yesterday.

“If I have to gauge the President presiding over the Cabinet, the President is satisfied, if not she would go on a tirade,” Ermita said. “(In the) last Cabinet meeting on projects, nobody was scolded, so there is a degree of satisfaction.”

He issued the statement as the annual performance review of Cabinet officials is expected to be finished in the next few days. The review is reportedly being conducted by Presidential Management Staff chief Cerge Remonde.

“It is normal for the President to call on anyone if things are not being done the way she wants it. She did not raise her voice or scold anyone – it means she is satisfied.”

He said there was no news or rumors about Cabinet officials being replaced.

The last revamp was in June when Ermita was appointed as concurrent presidential spokesman, Jesus Dureza as press secretary and Hermogenes Esperon Jr. as presidential adviser for the peace process.

He said the economy dominated the agenda in the last few Cabinet meetings, particularly on the status of infrastructure and social projects, including the emergency livelihood programs.

Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting was particularly lengthy, he said, as it covered the status of the implementation of the national social welfare program.

“Therefore the reminder of the President is for all Cabinet members to push for fasttracking of projects under their supervision. By fasttracking the implementation of projects, it would give more money that will help economy.”

He said Mrs. Arroyo stressed that 2009 “is a test for us if we can do the projects… so the people will benefit.” – Paolo Romero


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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