By Ben Rosario
Veteran San Juan Rep. Ronaldo Zamora appeared incredulous at the 2019 Social Weather Station survey that gave the former president and Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo a “poor” rating, notwithstanding a big four-point improvement in her grade.
“The recent earthquake showed us the kind of leadership SGMA has as she is more focused on helping the victims, cutting short her participation in scheduled events to see for herself the rescue and rehab efforts following the earthquake,” said Zamora in a statement following the release of the SWS survey results.
The SWS said Arroyo’s net satisfaction rating lodged at “poor” during the first quarter of 2019 but was “up by 4 points” – from -21 in December 2018 to -17 in March 2019.
Zamora, who was never known as an Arroyo ally during the latter’s term as president, noted that the Speaker’s style of leadership “has always focused on getting results and work done rather than on the approval ratings.
“Her approval ratings still rose despite the virulent black propaganda that was hurled against her during the intramurals on the budget,” he said.
“The House under SGMA crafted a democratic and transparent allocation of government projects and services among all districts regardless of political affiliation,” the veteran opposition leader stated.
He agreed with the statement of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea that “there was nothing unconstitutional about the budget proposed by the House.”
Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez aired hopes that Arroyo’s net satisfaction ratings will increase in the next quarter when the public starts to feel the “fruits of a fair and hardworking leadership” under her watch.
Catapulted to the top House leadership only eight months ago, Arroyo was able to steer the Lower House into approving all measures included in President Rodrigo Duterte’s list of legislative priorities.
It was also under her that the House put an end to “political vindictiveness” that her predecessors demonstrated by denying non-allies among congressmen access to funds meant to finance infrastructure projects in all congressional districts and partylist programs.
Suarez said the equitable allocation of infrastructure projects proposed by congressmen have been assured by Arroyo for all congressional districts. The same was guaranteed for partylist solons.
It will be recalled that in the past two years, the second congressional district of Pampanga which Arroyo represents did not receive any funding for vital infrastructure projects such as flood control, road and bridge construction.
Suarez said this is because the former chief executive voted against the passage of the bill proposing to restore the death penalty, a legislative measure authored by her predecessor, former Speaker and Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.
But this is not only her “punishment” for refusing to support the death penalty measure. Arroyo was also stripped of her post as deputy speaker of the Lower Chamber.