Robredo lauded for OVP anti-poverty projects; likened to Diosdado Macapagal
MANILA, Philippines — Senators have commended the anti-poverty initiatives of Vice President Leni Robredo, who has been going to far-flung areas nationwide to provide assistance to communities, as the Office of the Vice President (OVP) defended its proposed 2020 national budget at the Senate on Monday.
At the Senate finance sub-committee hearing, OVP presented its outreach plans to help poor areas and citizens under its “Angat Buhay,” “Ahon Laylayan,” and “Storya ng Pagasa” programs.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said Robredo’s situation reminded him of former President Diosdado Macapagal, who served as vice president before becoming the ninth leader of the nation.
Drilon noted that like Robredo, Macapagal was not given “any work” during his time as vice president of former President Carlos Garcia.
“Therefore, what Diosdado Macapagal did for four years that he was in office was to go around the country helping the needy. And then subsequently, Diosdado Macapagal won the presidency, whether or not there is a parallel to that, I’m just stating facts,” Drilon said.
“Diosdado Macapagal was similarly situated as Vice President Robredo,” he added.
Other legislators who lauded OVP’s anti-poverty efforts under Robredo were Senators Sonny Angara and Joel Villanueva, and Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri.
Asked what she thought of Drilon’s remarks about her and Macapagal, Robredo said: “Siguro similar kami in the sense na pareho kaming walang Cabinet post.”
“Pero iyong kaibahan siguro, iyong mga areas kasi kung nasaan kami, ito iyong mga areas na sobrang lalayo, ito iyong mga areas na sobrang mahirap puntahan, at ito din iyong mga areas na kaunti iyong tao – kaunti iyong tao kasi sobrang lalayo niya,” she also told reporters at the Senate after the hearing.
Further asked if she would consider following the path of Macapagal who ultimately became president, Robredo said: “Sa akin lang, parating bukas sa kahit anong possibilities, pero kailangan lang gawin iyong dapat gawin.”
“Mahirap sabihing ‘considering’ dahil iyong trajectory ko naman sa politika, walang pinlano,” she added.
Robredo maintained that eyeing a higher position for the 2022 elections remains far from her mind right now since she does not want to derail OVP’s focus on carrying out anti-poverty projects.
“Mahirap na planuhin siya kasi kapag pinlano siya, parang iyong lahat na ginagawa ko, ang iniisip ko na iyong saan ba ako makakakuha ng maraming boto… Kontra siya sa mga ginagawa namin kasi talagang iyong mga pinupuntahan namin na mga lugar, hindi siya vote-rich,” she said.
“Ang sinusubukan naman namin mag-fill in ng gaps, na iyong mga lugar na bihira… iyong accessibility sa government programs mahina dahil malayo din sila. So kung iisipin ko na iyong ruta ko for 2022, tingin ko maaapektuhan iyong ginagawa namin,” she added.
The Senate finance sub-committee earlier approved OVP’s proposed P673.02 million budget for 2020.
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