December 2, 2019
President Rodrigo Duterte led on Monday night the traditional lighting of a 40-foot Christmas tree in Malacañang and announced the P60,000 bonus of each employee under the Office of the President.
But before the lighting ceremony and the much-awaited announcement of the bonus, Malacañang employees and other guests waited for almost three hours for the President, who arrived at around 8:15pm.
Duterte allowed Social Secretary Annalyn Tolentino to announce the bonus.
Nonie T. Gumboc, 54, said even if they waited for almost three hours, it was worth it.
"I'm happy. That's (bonus) what we have been waiting for," said Gumboc, a household attendant who has been with the Internal House Affairs Office for 28 years.
He said their bonus last year was P50,000.
The lighting of the giant Christmas tree made of 1,393 pieces of balls with various colors at the Kalayaan Grounds was done as the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra graced also the event.
The Christmas tree was also adorned with 1,235 pieces of blue, red and white stars.
Similar number of LED bulbs were also attached to the Christmas tree.
The Office of the President Chorale also entertained the crowd composed of employees working in various offices in Malacañang while waiting for Duterte's arrival. Celerina Monte/DMS
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