Being VP is not a casual job

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MANY commentators in the formal press and social media have already noted the somewhat dubious irony that for the first time in this country’s history – and as far as our own geopolitical and history experts know, in any country’s history – there are more candidates for vice president than there are candidates for president.

While this unusual situation mainly illustrates the odd, unwieldy nature of our political system, it also highlights what seems to be a disturbing lack of seriousness on the part of those vying for our votes next May.

The vice presidency is a bit less demanding than the job of being president, but it is still a vital position that must be filled by a fully-qualified, experienced, and committed leader. The vice president is not there to simply “enjoy all the perks with none of the responsibilities,” or simply serve as the president’s understudy, but must be fully capable to serve as the president’s replacement. We certainly never wish for anything untoward to befall the nation’s leader, whoever that might be, but it is a matter of historical record that a Philippine president has a one in three chance of not finishing his term.

Even under “normal” circumstances, the vice president serves as the nation’s caretaker when the president is out of the country, and since the time of President Joseph Estrada, it has become a tradition for the president to give the vice president a cabinet portfolio. Clearly, it is not a job for those who are not highly-skilled, and it is certainly not a job for those who are unable to articulate its importance or the reason they are seeking the position, nor is it a job for those who publicly express misgivings about their competence for it.


The circus-like atmosphere already surrounding the campaigns for both president and vice president will do nothing positive for the country, and for our own good, we must all demand that the bar of public discourse be raised. What that means in practical terms to the participants in the overcrowded vice presidential race is that we will demand cogent, realistic policy views and campaign platforms that address matters such as job growth and regulation, tax reform, infrastructure and agricultural development, poverty reduction, education, public health, the environment, disaster management and recovery, and foreign policy, among others.

Some of the candidates have shown signs that they do understand and have considered these things – as any potential leader of a nation of more than 100 million souls should – and that gives us a little hope. Others, however, have a long way to go to even approach a level of legitimacy to be seriously considered.

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9 Comments

  1. Jejomar Binay said that as VP, he has no “multifarious duties and powers” like the President. Is that an excuse when people are asking him about his accomplishments? It seems that he is not happy to be in the position, yet, many are aspiring to follow his footsteps. I wonder why.

  2. Matthew Parkes on

    Why do you use the word “leader” when you are talking about the Philippines? Anderson Cooper was right in Tacloban when he said that there is no leadership. Unfortunately for the Philippines, that is true every day and across the nation and not just in Tacloban after a typhoon.

    Aquino’s dereliction of duty, complete incompetence, and acts of treason have devalued the presidency; it is any wonder the vice-presidency has also devolved into something of a joke?

  3. Si Binay anong pinaggagawa nito ng siyay VP??? may nagawa b ito sa Pinas, mula Jolo hanggang Appari???at si Pnoy?? puro mga inutil itong mga namumuno na ito… ng bansa.. si Pnoy pinayaman lang niya ang mga kaibigan nya, na dito lang sa metro manila nagconcentrate ito namn si Binay , hanggang makati lang yata ito.. duon siya nagconcentrate sa makati district… si pnoy sa quezon city district at sa rizal??? mga inutil kayo. Ang laki laki ng Pilipinas,

  4. Kung pagkukumparahin mo ang mga kandidato para sa pagkapangulo at kay BBM mas malamang na si BBM experience wise naging kongressman at Senator,talong talo si Poe. Pagpasa ng batas walang sinabi yung tatlo,ng tangalin si Corona isa si Bongbong sa tatlong senator na hindi tumanggap ng suhol mula kay Aquino at Abad at alam naman natin na lahat tumanggap ng suhol mula kay Drilon,Cayetano, Trillanes, Escudero etc so dyan pa lang makikita mo na kung sino ang magnanakaw, sa corruption alam naman natin na si Mar at maging si Binay ay corrupt although mas maraming nagawa si Binay kaysa kay Mar na lahat ng posisyon hinawakan eh pumalpak lahat, so panalong panalo si Bongbong Marcos…BBM na tayo

  5. Vic Penetrante on

    “Being VP is not a casual job,” but the VP can always demand another palace for office.

  6. noelravalsalaysay on

    I agree,the person who is elected as Vice President should be able to perform the duties of the President,should unforseen circumstances occur that could prevent the elected President from actually perform his/her duties.

  7. The reality is that, not all of the candidates are really that serious. One or two may may have put up their candidacy to prevent another candidate from winning, for personal or other reasons. Meanwhile, these ‘decoy’ candidates may have future political or monetary concessions. We’re talking of Philippine politics and politicians!

  8. Nakakapagtataka ba ito sa inyo? isa lang ang nakikita ng mga nagbabalak maging bise ay sila ay magiging pangulo.Dahil sigurado sila na si Grace poe ang magiging pangulo!
    Kapag pinilit ng mga laban kay poe na maalis siya dahil sa hindi siya pilipino,malamang baka isa din sila sa magtulak nito.Di ang dali maging pangulo!
    Marami dito ay malamang gastusan pa ng pangulo sa naipon nitong DAP.wala pang gastos,matalo man ,balik uli sa pagka senator! saan ka pa !

    • Hindi naman sure na mananalo iyang si Grace. She is using Poe while she is Llamanzares, riding the popularity of Fernando Poe…No way Grace!