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VP office gets ready for Leni

Vice President Jejomar Binay has instructed his staff to start working to ensure a smooth transition between his office and that of his successor, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo.

Robredo’s transition team on Thursday visited the Office of the Vice President (OVP) at the Coconut Palace in Pasay City, where it accepted a 49-page transition report prepared by Binay’s office.

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In a statement, OVP chief of staff Undersecretary Benjamin Martinez said he was instructed by Binay to make the transition “as smooth as possible.”

“Whatever information, whatever is needed for them to transfer easily, we will provide it,” Martinez said.

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This included ensuring that the OVP was ready for Robredo, whose team made an ocular visit to the Coconut Palace last week, he said.

Martinez said the OVP wants no service interruption even with the transfer of Robredo.

Quoting the transition report, the OVP said it served 56,722 poor people seeking medical, burial and transport assistance from July 2010 to March 2016. Relief assistance was also provided to 642,143 families; medical and dental check to 143,251 beneficiaries; educational support to 124,416 children of indigenous groups; and wheelchairs to 734 differently-abled persons.

Binay’s office will also leave a large chunk of its 2016 budget or 80 percent of its P503-million budget for this year to his successor.

Martinez said the OVP has spent only P78 million as of May and that Robredo can spend the remainder for her programs.

Philip Dy, head of Robredo’s transition team, said the incoming vice president wants to focus on antipoverty and women empowerment programs.

Martinez said he believes Binay would wish for Robredo to also serve as presidential adviser on overseas Filipino concerns and head the housing sector like he did.

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