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Maagang pamasko! GMA raises congressional employees’ grocery allowance to P35,000

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

The House leadership on Monday (September 3) announced an early Christmas gift to all of its employees which will all received an additional Php 30,000 in their monthly grocery allowance.

Former President and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said the increase in the grocery allowance of all Lower House personnel is a gift for having a “productive House of Representatives” which she witnessed during her almost nine-year stint in the chamber.

“I’m impressed by how well you adjusted to the transition and the extra effort you make the meet the expectations of the Speaker. Thank you very much. Please keep up the good work,” Arroyo told House employees right after Monday’s flag ceremony at the Batasang Pambansa Complex.

“The keywords are hardwork, selectively hands-on, and you’ve seen that with regard to the priority legislative agenda of the President. Strict, but hopefully, fair and open-minded.”

Last August, Arroyo approved the released of the initial Php 5,000 monthly grocery allowance for all the employees upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accounts which is currently chaired by the Leyte Rep. Yedda Romualdez.

Arroyo said that through Romualdez’s effort, she was able to authorized the release of Php 35,000 monthly grocery allowance starting this September.

“Somebody from Congress told me that August and September are, to use his words, ‘taghirap months’ kasi raw walang extra na natatanggap. Kaya kapag August and September, ang daming applications for loans,” said Arroyo.