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He may still be hurting from the "Noynoying" label pinned on him by critics for his alleged laid-back work ethic but President Aquino wants, if he can have his way, an annual two-week holiday just like everyone else.
The presidential yearning came out during an interview conducted by broadcaster Coco Alcuaz and aired on ANC Wednesday evening.
In case you missed the show, this was how Alcuaz reported it on abs-cbnnews.com:
Aquino said one adjustment that he had to make after being elected (was) cutting down on his leisure time. He said that when he was a congressman, he had time to touch base with his constituents.
"You had the breaks in between. Here, I guess that's the hardest thing…Christmas, we shut down as a country what, four-five days before Christmas. I get to have a Christmas eve. Christmas Day normally has a lot of activities. New Year, I think the executive secretary and I started work on January 1 and I started our break December 30-31," he told ANC.
"By law, you're entitled to two weeks' break. We’re entitled to two days. And you're expected to be fully operational and fully recharged after those two separate days," he added. End of quote.
While PNoy may have a compelling case for annual holidays for heads of states, his moaning about his having to hit the ground running on the very first day of the year while many are nursing a hangover had prompted Cocktales to do some quick fact-checking.
January 1 this year was a Sunday while January 1, 2011, PNoy's first New Year's Day in Malacañang, was a Saturday.
In both days, the President had no listed public appointments. The same was true with January 2.
January 3 this year, a Tuesday, was the first time that P.Noy had a listed public function, presiding over, according to the Presidential Communications Operations Office, the Good Governance and Anti-Corruption Cluster meeting in Malacanang.
On the other hand, January 3 last year was a Monday, but it was Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. who led the employees of the Office of the President for the usual Monday flag-raising ceremony.
PNoy's first public appointment for last year was to receive the credentials of four new ambassadors, and that was on January 4. The following day, the President again disappeared from public view.
As to his claim about lack of a Christmas break, this was what Cocktales found:
In 2010, his first Christmas in power, PNoy had zero public schedule from December 24-31, not counting the December 30 wreath-laying at Rizal Park.
The bachelor President, who had earlier joked about spending a "cold" Christmas after having broken up with his then girlfriend Valenzuela City Councilor Shalani Soledad, even motored up to Baguio for the New Year's eve.
His schedule the following Christmas was more or less the same.
Except for the December 24 gift-giving at Don Bosco Makati and the December 30 Rizal Park event, the President had fallen back to what now appears to be an annual stealth mode. Just like the year before, PNoy again essentially disappeared from public view from December 23 to 31.
Even a Malacañang press release on December 23 had adverted to a "private vacation."
"On Thursday, the President said he might cancel his private vacation plans this Christmas because of the bad weather that affects the Bicol region and Southern Tagalog region."
As it turned out, PNoy pushed ahead with his vacation, ordering instead Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. to fly to Iligan and Cagayan on December 26 to survey the damage inflicted by typhoon Sendong.
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