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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Leni: VP should have bigger role

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The country’s vice president should be given a bigger mandate to be able to do more to serve the public, Vice President Leni Robredo said.

Robredo, during the last episode of her weekly radio program, said that the government’s second highest official “had limited duties.”

She said she recalls that she “only had to attend ceremonial programs and continue some of the existing programs turned over by the office of former Vice President Jejomar Binay, when she assumed office in 2016.”

“We need to think about how to give the Vice President a bigger mandate because it seems like such a waste if, for example, s/he wasn’t very creative. The people in the Office of the Vice President are talented,” Robredo, quoted by a GMA News report, said. “For me, this needs to be discussed and see how more opportunities and more space could be given so that the Vice President could do something.

The Philippine Constitution says the Vice President is “mandated to assume the presidency in case the President dies, has a disability, or resigns. The Vice President may also assume a cabinet position if offered by the President.”

It could be recalled that Robredo was appointed as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) in November 2019, but she was removed from the post after just 18 days, GMA News reported.

Robredo’s office focused on other initiatives such as disaster relief and later on a free telemedicine platform in April 2021 to help patients with COVID-19 and other diseases.

Despite the setbacks Robredo faced under the Duterte administration, she said she had “no regrets,” GMA News reported.

“Looking back, I could say that all the difficulties we faced made us better. Of course, we would have wanted it to be easier and we would have wanted to receive help if our office needed help. However, because we were not considered allies and we were not considered part of the government, we learned to find a way. That’s what made us better because when it’s difficult you become better. When it’s difficult, you find a way,” she said.

In May, Robredo ran for the presidency but lost to President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Robredo meanwhile asked artists who gave her artworks throughout the campaign period to donate the artworks to the Angat Buhay non-government organization (NGO) for an exhibit and fundraising event.

Robredo said her office received 987 paintings when she ran for the highest national position during Eleksyon 2022.

Robredo said that the Angat Buhay NGO will be launched in hybrid on July 1 and 2, after she steps down from office on June 30 and that there will also be an exhibit of the artworks.

She gave assurance that the artworks will be properly attributed to the artists and the funds that will be collected will be properly used.

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