City of Mandaluyong

Mandaluyong City Representative


Neptali M. Gonzales II

Congressman
City of Mandaluyong
 

The plunge into life in public service came as an accident for the Hon. Neptali M. Gonzales II. When Mandaluyong became a city on 09 February 1994, it had to separate from San Juan as a congressional district.

The search for a person who will then serve as the new city 's first Congressman came to a rousing conclusion when the Hon. Neptali M. Gonzales II - Boyet to his friends and constituents - was elected with a landslide margin over his rivals.

With such a resounding majority, one would think that the Congressman of the City of Mandaluyong will be like any other politician who makes promises that cannot be fulfilled. He proved to be otherwise.

Fulfillment of a Promise

Exactly forty days after his assumption of office, Congressman Gonzales started what is now known in Mandaluyong as the ugnayan (consultative assemblies) with the different barangays, schools, Parent-Teachers Associations, and other government agencies.

 

This program is a fulfillment of his promise that he will go back to the barangays and meet with the people in order to learn and to hear from his constituency their priority projects as well as pressing concerns. As a result of these, the needs of the different barangays and schools, among others, have been met, and their priority projects fulfilled.

Commitment to Education

Congressman Gonzales also fulfilled the city's dream of providing a better future for the youth. Through his countrywide development funds and congressional initiative funds, and also with the cooperation of the late Senate President Neptali A. Gonzales, the City of Mandaluyong now has its own science high school - The City of Mandaluyong Science High School - geared for the intellectually gifted but indigent youth of the city.

In addition to this, his program for education includes the construction of additional classrooms for a growing student population in the city. He also spearheaded the conversion of the Rizal Technological Colleges into a state university. Last 11 October 1998, Republic Act No. 8365, which creates the Rizal Technological University, was signed into law. Among Cong. Gonzales' recent achievements in the field of education are:

  • The conversion of the Andres Bonifacio Elementary School (Barangay Addition Hills) into the Andres Bonifacio Integrated School, the first integrated school in the city;
  • The establishment of an additional high school, the Bonifacio Javier National High School, which will complement and decongest the two existing highs schools in the city;

Legislator of Note

As a member of the 10th Congress, the Hon. Gonzales served on eight congressional committees, and although a neophyte is a member of the Committee on Rules. He authored thirty-three bills and is a co-author of ninety-two bills. He also held the distinction of being the second neophyte member of this congress to have the most number of bills to have become part of the laws of the land.

With all of these accomplishments many of his constituents were of the mind that he would aspire for a higher position in the 1998 elections. Indeed some prodded him to do so, especially so since his late father, Senate President Neptali A. Gonzales, was then retiring from public service.

 

They were of Congressman, politics (at least in its most widely perceived level) should take a back seat to that of public service. And with this maxim at heart, he opted to seek a renewed mandate from the City of Mandaluyong as its Representative for the upcoming 11th Congress.

Confidence and trust was not merely for Mandaluyong to bestow on its representative. On 27 July 1998, at the opening session of the 11th Congress, Rep. Gonzales was chosen as Deputy Majority Leader, he having been chosen as one of the two Vice Chairpersons of the Committee on Rules. Together with the House Majority Leader, Rep. Mar Roxas of Capiz, Boyet stands at the helm of congressional leadership, providing guidance and counsel as the House of Representatives faces one of its most critical periods in political and legislative history. Toward the end of the 11th Congress, he assumed the position of Majority Leader, a position he continues to hold in the 12th Congress given his peer's unanimous vote.

Moving forward in life

Yet, not all is politics for this Congressman. He is a very active member of the United Church of the Good Shepherd (UCGS), and currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Good Shepherd Christian School . His involvement in the life of his church is much a result of his family's roots as it is the fruit of his faith. In his youth, he became the president of the UCGS Christian Youth Fellowship, as well as what was then one of the biggest youth chapters of the Greater Manila Conference, the Rizal Chapter CYF.

Cong. Gonzales has gone through so much in life. He gave of hiself to public and civic service, for which he was amply rewarded. But he also plunged into the depths of anguish and suffering.

 

In May 2001, two days before the elections, grief struck at the heart of Cong. Gonzales's home when his wife of 21 years, Josephine, passed away after a lingering illness. Five months later, on 16 September 2001, his father - Senate President Neptali A. Gonzales - passed away. Men of lesser resolve would have crumbled under the pressure and anguish caused by this twin events.

Yet for Cong. Gonzales, life is a matter of moving on. "Tests, difficulties, and other manners of adversity will always be with us. But in the end," he said, "what matters most is how one is able to rise up after a fall, and how one is able to move forward in life." And moved on he did.
He plunged into his work and role as House of Representatives Majority Leader of the 12th Congress with even more aplomb and resolve.

Toward the end of 2002, Cong. Gonzales took an even bigger step forward in life. On 21 December 2002, he and his fianc�e of almost a year, Alexandria Trono Pahati (Queenie), were wed in an ecumenical celebration at the UCCP Ellinwood-Malate Church . After a year of going through some of life's most difficult moments, Cong. Gonzales is even more ready to face the promise of the future together with Queenie and his only daughter, Kristine Olivia.

Principle in public service

One would think that given his achievements in so short a time, Congressman Gonzales can afford to rest and take it easy. But this has never been his style, for he affirms that in his life as a public servant, there can only be one principle in life.

 

"he who must be great among you must be your servant, and whoever must be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not be served but to serve." (Matthew 20:26-27)
 

Max Weber, a German sociologist, once wrote: "One can say that three pre-eminent qualities are decisive for the politician: passion, a feeling of responsibility, and a sense of proportion."

The City of Mandaluyong is fortunate to have a representative who embodies these qualities, just as their congressman is fortunate to serve a city and its people that he truly loves.


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