By Ellson Quismorio
President Rodrigo Duterte made the right choice in picking erstwhile Davao City 1st district Rep. Karlo Nograles as his Cabinet Secretary, if these comments from the latter’s former congressman-colleagues are anything to go by.
Former House Speaker, Quezon City 4th district Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr.; Negros Occidental 3rd district Rep. Alfredo Benitez; Parañaque City 2nd district Rep. Gus Tambunting; and Eastern Samar lone district Rep. Ben Evardone all believe that Nograles has what it takes to do well in his new position.
“Karlo is very capable. He will do justice to the position,” Belmonte, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said.
Nograles, on his third and final term in the House of Representatives, took his oath before President Duterte in Malacañang Monday afternoon.
As Cabinet Secretary, Nograles will head the Cabinet Secretariat, which under Executive Order (EO) No. 67 is tasked to assist the President “in the establishment of agenda topics for Cabinet deliberation” and “facilitate the discussion of cabinet meetings.”
EO 67 also states that the Cabinet Secretariat “shall serve as the head secretariat of the different Cabinet Cluster secretariats” and shall “participate in the National Economic and Development Authority Board and committee meetings.”
Benitez acknowledged that the Cabinet Secretary position will be a challenge. “But Rep Karlo Nograles is young and talented and can easily overcome those obstacles,” said the Housing and Urban Development Committee chairman.
Public Information Committee Chairman Evardone echoed the other lawmakers’ glowing comments on the 42-year-old Nograles.
“We welcome his appointment. He will be an asset to the Duterte administration,” he said.
Perhaps it was Tambunting who gave the best summary of his thoughts on the new Cabinet Secretary. “He is very qualified,” the Games and Amusements Committee chairman said of Nograles.
Cabinet Secretary Nograles is the son of former House Speaker Prospero Nograles.
A lawyer, the younger Nograles obtained his Juris Doctor degree from the Ateneo School of Law. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management Engineering from Ateneo De Manila after attending high school in the main campus of the Philippine Science High School in Quezon City.