He’s giving future presidents a bad example
By Raïssa Robles
Presidents after him will be forced to scrimp and save to match President Benigno Aquino’s niggardly ways of making do with US$46,350 for a 55-member delegation. (The dollar equivalent is calculated using P43.15 to US$1.00 as exchange rate.)
I say niggardly, compared to his ex-college teacher and predecessor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Now, that woman KNEW how to spend our money.
Why, she gave away P6 million in tips alone during her 2009 five-day trip to Washington and New York, when she spent all in all the equivalent of P37 million.
Her spokesman then, the late Cerge Remonde, justified the hefty tab by saying that Arroyo’s overseas sorties were exempt from government austerity measures since these “aggressive” trips resulted in a huge inflow of foreign investments.
To commemorate those good old days (at least good for her and her political allies), I am reposting below an article I wrote two years ago when then President Arroyo zipped to New York, then to Washington using our money.
Enjoy those good old times and hope they never return –
What kind of New York transport cost President Arroyo’s trip US$182,597.50 in just two days?
A pre-Garci-tape time travel capsule?
From the breakdown provided by the Office of the President (see below), the amount spent for “transportation” is the biggest expense of the trip. And this is aside from the air fare of US$4,675 from Washington to the Big Apple.
Could luxe limos like the one pictured below cost that much, do you think?
What does the item “Filipino community” expenses really mean? A hakot crowd? Filipino community expenses are apart from the US$42,500 spent on “representation” expenses in Washington. Notice, too, that “representation” disappears as an expense in New York.
Why bring a planeload of people to New York, the 8th most expensive city in the world according to the just-released Mercer’s 2009 Worldwide Cost of Living survey?
The retinue spent more in two days there ( US$396,099.00) than three days in Washington (US$371,855.98), which was the real object of the trip.
Two days at NY’s Waldorf Astoria (US$94,576.93)
was costlier than three days spent at Willard Hotel (US$70,879.78).
Has the First Family been luxury hotel addicts all these years?
July 29-August 5 trip expenses of President Arroyo, her husband and retinue for three days stay in Washington and two days in New York:
Total expenses for three days in Washington:
US$371,855.98 (P48.47 per US$1)= P18,023,859.35
Air fare: US$2,508.70
Filipino community: US$79,720.22
Equipment rental: US$8,775.00
RP-US Friendship caucus: US$5,178.42
Stakeholders Tour: US$7,164.66
Secretariat supplies: US$6,305.00
Total expenses for two days in New York:
US$396,099.00 (P48.47 per US$1) = P19,198.918.53
Air fare: US$4,675.60
Filipino community: US$33,714.33
Equipment rental: US45,909.00
Embassy expenses: US$41,092.07
Secretariat supplies: US$14,173.57
Gratuities* : US$59,000.00
[NOTE: *Gratuities are tips given to bellboys, hotel chamber maids, security convoy escorts and a butler that your taxes so generously paid for.]
Wonder how much President Aquino is giving away in gratuities.
Edna Wenning says
Just happened to visit this page today for the first time. I like your blogs and the issues you bring forth, but the ad for single Filipina women with photos on the left upper side of your page entitled “Filipinocupid.com” is pretty disturbing. I would like to believe that you do not condone human trafficking and mail order brides. Why this ad?
The ads that appear on my pages are chosen randomly by GoogleAds. I will ask them how I can block certain ads.
Thanks for letting me know.
Pnoy has his fthers sincerity and love of country.
GMA is corrupt and a greedy official. I wonder why she won a seat in Pampanga.
Btw, ur the bet Raisa! Ur one of the best journalist i the Phl! God bless.
I know I use this expression a lot… but I love you, Raissa… the title and the first line… sarcasm put to best use… you’re awesome… ^_^
Thanks for rocking my day :)
Since we know that Arroyo really squandered a lot of government/people’s money during her term, why the hell is she still in Congress? Why is she not prosecuted? Why is she still sashaying in the halls of our government brandishing her new government post and furthering her hopes of being the 1st PM of the Phils?
Oh, I forgot. This is Philippines where politics and connections can get you away with almost anything. And where people just forgive and forget even if it means fooling them the second, third and n times again.
brielgo o. pagaran says
journalism at its best!! congrats…..sana shareable? kahit facebook lang at twitter? sayang….best regards.. congrats….!! :)
Actually, you can share this on Facebook by copying the URL and pasting it on your FB page. Or, with the page open on the article you want to share, you can click on that tiny button on the right column of the page that says “F Like” and the article is automatically copied to your page.
Thanks for reading!