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PIA Press Release

PGMA holds Cabinet meeting at ally's birthday

San Fernando, Pampanga (28 October) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Tuesday broke tradition by holding her joint Cabinet and National Disaster Coordinating Council meeting at the residence of Rep. Aurelio Gonzales (3rd district), who is celebrating his birthday.

The President and her Cabinet members will brief the media at Gonzales' old house, beside the new one where the Cabinet and NDCC meetings will be held.

Gonzales is a close ally who was handpicked by the President as head of Lakas-Kampi CMD party's committee on overseas Filipino workers.

Local papers said that "Cong. Dong," as Gonzales is called, is regarded by critics as the President's third son owing to his closeness to the Chief Executive who is fully supportive of his various plans and programs for the district.

Gonzales is supporting 16,000 poor but deserving students from elementary to college and even out of school youth since assuming his post in 2007. Outside of education, his other projects are in agricultural infrastructure, livelihood, health and social projects.

With President Arroyo's help, he was able to implement the massive rehabilitation plan for the lahar-devastated Bacolor province through Republic Act 9506, which the neophyte Gonzales authored last year.

Before the Cabinet meeting, the President inaugurated the P200-million 10-km Quezon road that straddles the 3rd and 4th districts. It is one of the major road infrastructure projects in the two districts under the Arroyo administration.

Quezon Road is a vital access to the eastern towns of Pampanga, Nueva Ecija and Northern Luzon.

Later the President will attend the coronation of the Holy Rosary at the Sto. Domingo Parish in Mexico, Pampanga under Fr. Homer Policarpio.

After the Cabinet meeting, she motors to Sindalan to award the financial subsidies to around 1,500 high school and college scholars from Arayat, Sta. Ana, Mexico, Bacolor and San Fernando. (PIA) [top]

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