She has been proclaimed the country’s second highest official but Rep. Leni Robredo vowed to take on more meaningful work than the ceremonial tasks assigned to her office.
“Wala naman iyan sa titulo, nasa ginagawa [It’s not about your title, but the work that you do]. The sound of it [being the Vice President]doesn’t affect me because I am more interested in what I can do to be of help. I want my office to be big on advocacy, even if used to mainly concern ceremonial functions,” Robredo told reporters.
“I want to make it more meaningful in crafting policies, considering the office’s vast influence. I don’t want to waste the opportunity to be of help, even if the Office of the Vice President has limited authority,” she said.
Robredo added that she understands that President Rodrigo Duterte is not considering her for a Cabinet post yet because they do not know each other and have not met personally.
Still, she said, she is confident that she can work well with Duterte.
“I am very hopeful that we will have a good working relationship. We might have disagreements on death penalty, but we also have similarities. We both came from local positions and hail from provinces far from Manila,” Robredo noted.
“We both have non-traditional views about politics, and I would say these are sufficient enough to build on.”
Robredo said that for starters, she and her team are looking for a cheaper place where she can hold office.
The Office of the Vice President (OVP) at the Coconut Palace in Pasay City (Metro Manila) costs roughly P500,000 monthly.
“We’ll decide if it’s still logical and prudent to stay in the Coconut Palace, or in the available 7th Floor of the PNB [Philippine National Bank] building,” Robredo said.
Vice President Jejomar Binay holds office at the Coconut Palace, while his predecessor Noli de Castro occupied the 7th floor of the PNB building.
Robredo said she wants her office to extend to the rural areas to fulfill her campaign promise of boosting rural development.
“We will discuss what would be the better arrangement that augurs well for rural development. We are looking at having satellite offices aside from the central office. But for now, everything is up in the air,” she added.