HON. NEPTALI M. GONZALES II
Representative, Lone District of the City of Mandaluyong
Majority Leader, 15th Congress, House of Representatives
Congressman Neptali M. Gonzales II is a public servant well-loved and respected by his constituents and peers. He is in active public service for 13 years now - the first nine years (1995-2004) as Congressman of the City of Mandaluyong, as its City Mayor for three years (2004-2007), and again as Congressman of the City for the 14th and 15th Congresses. His brilliance and devotion towards his work as a legislator and local chief executive is reflected in his outstanding track record for the last 16 years.
Boyet, as he is fondly called by friends and constituents, was the first Congressman of Mandaluyong when it was converted into a city separate from what used to be the San Juan-Mandaluyong Congressional District in 1995. In Congress, Hon. Gonzales stood out among his colleagues with his exceptional leadership and sound initiatives.
In the 10th Congress, the then neophyte solon served on eight congressional committees, including the Committee on Rules. In the opening session of the 11th Congress, he was chosen as one of the two vice–chairpersons of the Committee on Rules then chaired by Majority Leader Rep. Mar Roxas of Capiz City. Eventually, he became Majority Leader toward the end of the 11th Congress, and held the position all the way into the 12th Congress. In his nine years as Congressman, he authored 33 bills and was co-author of 92 bills. In his first term, he also held the distinction of being one of two neophyte members of this Congress to have the most number of bills adopted as laws of the land.
During his first 9-year stint in Congress, Hon. Gonzales improved the city youth's access to quality education through the construction of the City of Mandaluyong Science High School, providing additional classrooms and school facilities for a growing student-population, and for leading the conversion of the Rizal Technological Colleges into a state university. For this very significant contribution, the RTU conferred him a Doctor of Philosophy in Public Administration (Honoris Causa) in October 2003.
During his brief 3-year term as Mayor for Mandaluyong, he fully supported the implementation of physical and social infrastructure that significantly elevated the level of public service efficiency in Mandaluyong. As mayor of Mandaluyong, Hon. Gonzales pushed the envelope of local governance by initiating innovations in computerization, social infrastructures and urban renewal benefiting all sectors of his constituency. He specially pushed for the uplift of health care in the city by strengthening the city's only public hospital and empowering all health centers for preventive health care. He instituted fresh initiatives in local fiscal reforms and tax collection which tremendously improved the city's fiscal health. He facilitated housing for the poor by enjoining private entities to give their support to the program. His administration's partnership with the Gawad Kalinga and the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission, gave decent housing to more than a thousand families in the city. Most significant during his term is the boost of employees' morale on public service through positive reinforcements in human resource development. It was also during his incumbency as Mayor when the very first LGU-initiated call center training program was established. In collaboration with the Rizal Technological University, then Mayor Gonzales and the local government funded the construction and equipping of a training center for call center agents, complete with speech laboratory equipment and computers.
Currently, Hon. Gonzales is the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives for the 15th Congress. As such, he heads the House Committee on Rules and is an ex-officio member of all House Committees. In the 14th Congress, he held the position of Senior Deputy Majority Leader.
As a returning Congressman for Mandaluyong, he hopes to continue his all-out support in all facets of city development thrusts such as in education, health, infrastructure and housing. Within the first year and a half of his term, he has already initiated the construction of barangay facilities, the procurement of emergency vehicles for the use of various barangays, the construction of school buildings and classrooms to meet the growing public school population, and the provision of medical equipment for Mandaluyong's city hospital.
Among the secrets of Hon. Gonzales' success in politics is his deep sense of faith. Born into a family of evangelical preachers and active laity, Hon. Gonzales firmly upholds the maxim that for a Christian "worship and work must be one." His public and private persona, then, is an expression of his faith, an upholding of the ethics of character, integrity, and service to others. He continues to be an active member of the United Church of the Good Shepherd where he serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Good Shepherd Christian School. In fact, his active involvement with religious organizations started while still very young. In his youth, he was president of the UCGS Christian Youth Fellowship, and was an active member and later a President of the Rizal Chapter CYC – then one of the biggest youth chapters of the Greater Manila Conference.
The youngest and only boy in the family, Boyet was born on August 29, 1954 in Mandaluyong to the late Senate President Neptali Alvaro and Candida Medina Gonzales, and to sisters Myrna, Sorohayda, and Rhodora. As a young child, he was a proud product of the public education system, finishing his elementary education at the Mandaluyong Elementary School. For high school, he attended the Union High School of Manila of the Philippine Christian College (now the Philippine Christian University), where, during his senior year, he won the prestigious Gerry Roxas Leadership Award in recognition of his leadership potentials. He finished a degree in Political Science at the Far Eastern University (FEU) in 1975, and took up law at the Ateneo de Manila University where he graduated with honors in 1979. He was also among the top 25 successful bar examinees (out of about 3,000 hopefuls) that same year, garnering a grade of 86.48 percent.
Before his public service stint, he was a private practicing lawyer from 1980-1995 as a senior partner of the Gonzales, Batiller, Bilog, and Associates Law Firm. He also briefly served his Alma Mater as a Bar Reviewer and Professor in Criminal Law and Constitutional Law at FEU's Institute of Law.
In 2002, Hon. Gonzales took a second chance at love and family when he married broadcast journalist Alexandria Pahati in December 2002 with whom he now has beautiful twins, Neptali III and Isabel Candida. He has an only child named Kristine Olivia by his first wife, the late Josephine Olivia Francisco, who succumbed to a lingering illness in May 2001.