WATCH | VP marks 1st year too. Here’s what she’s done

June 30, 2017 - 1:17 PM
Vice-President Leni Robredo meets displaced families at an evacuation center while government forces continue to battle with the Maute group in Marawi, Philippines June 26, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

(UPDATE – 8:15 p.m.) MANILA, Philippines — It isn’t just President Rodrigo Duterte who marks one year in office. Vice President Leni Robredo is, too.

Although Duterte named her chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, she quickly resigned from the post after she was unceremoniously informed to “desist” from attending Cabinet meetings.

And while Duterte recently affirmed her as constitutional successor should he, by any reason, fail to complete his term, Robredo continues to face an electoral protest from former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and remains the target of vilification campaigns by both Duterte supporters and Marcos loyalists.

To mark her first year, a statement from Robredo’s office recalled her inaugural speech, in which he “highlighted the importance of inclusive growth, of working together to aid those in the margins, and most importantly, named six key advocacy areas she hoped to focus on during her term.”

“These are: Hunger and nutrition, public education, universal healthcare, rural development, women empowerment, and housing and human resettlements,” the statement said.

In keeping with her advocacy for programs that focus on those in the “laylayan,” or fringes of society, Robredo’s accomplishment report, released Friday, highlighted her flagship program, “Angat Buhay: Partnerships Against Poverty,” crafted after visits to more than 80 communities around the country to consult with residents on what programs would help them best.

The Angat Buhay program has reached 36,046 individuals, or 22,775 families and, providing through donor partners almost P52.72 million worth of resources for rural development, feeding programs, medical and dental missions, and educational infrastructure.

Her anti-poverty program aims to connect local government units with private sector partners, civil society organizations, and non-government organizations to address the needs of poor families on education, food security, rural development, women empowerment, universal healthcare, and housing.

Starting from 50 LGUs, the Office of the Vice President said they have secured partnerships with organizations from the public and private sector for 134 LGUs, providing access to livelihood and employment, market linkages, and infrastructure on health and education, among others.

Among the more notable projects was the installation of solar panels in 25 households of the Tadyawan tribe of Pola in Oriental Mindoro, feeding programs for daycare children in Bukidnon, Bohol, and Iloilo, and medical missions in the provinces of Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur.

In a statement, Robredo said she was proud of her achievements even as she admitted much more needs to be done.

“We’re proud of what we’ve achieved — from 50 pilot LGUs in 2016, we’re now at 134. But we all know, we cannot rest. So much more needs to be done because there are so many of our fellow Filipinos that continue to be left out,” she said.

Aside from the Angat Buhay program, the OVP said they had also served as first responders providing relief to families affected by Typhoons Lawin and Niña, earthquakes in Surigao and Batangas, and the Marawi crisis.

According to their report, a total of 26,307 relief packs were distributed to families affected by disasters in the past year. Robredo also visited some of the disaster-stricken areas to talk with local leaders and to determine the immediate needs of the victims.

The report said the OVP had responded to a total of 167,266 requests for assistance under its different programs.

In her Social Services program, the OVP provided almost P116 million worth of medical assistance for 10,892 indigents and almost P200,000 worth funeral/burial assistance for 71 beneficiaries.

Robredo also said her office had also acted on 4,289 OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker)-related concerns, such as requests for repatriation, assitance on salary and benefits claims, legal and monetary assistance for detained OFWs, and legal action against employers, recruiters, and agents.



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