Despite being excluded from Cabinet meetings, and President Rodrigo Duterte having made clear his support for her political nemesis, Bongbong Marcos, Vice President Leni Robredo insists that she does not see herself as the opposition.
In an interview on Tuesday, she was asked whether being the voice of the opposition had helped or hindered her as Vice President.
“I don’t look at myself as like the opposition to all the government’s policies, because I often say that I believe we should be supportive of the administration because that is what the times call for,” she replied.
“But being supportive, this means being supportive of the things that align with your beliefs, being supportive of the things that we believe will benefit everyone. But when it comes to things that I think we have differing beliefs on, I need to voice out my concerns,” Robredo explained.
She added that there was a time for unity, but also a time for dissent.
In the same interview, Robredo was asked if her office was getting more projects as compared to when she was still the head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).
She answered in the negative, explaining that government agencies like HUDCC would always have a budget ready, while the Office of the Vice President did not have a budget for projects.
Thus Robredo said she was confined to partnering with private organizations and companies which could extend help to needy communities.
“This is why it’s harder for us because it involves more work since it’s not our own project… So we really are just a conduit. Once we find a partner, we bring them to the community so that the two can talk to each other. We just supervise,” the Vice President said.
Her advocacy, “Angat Buhay”, involves the Office of the Vice President linking a few hundred companies and corporate foundations with local government units that have housing, education, and health needs.