Masyadong mahal? Why Leni doesn't like Coconut Palace

Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 30 2016 09:42 PM | Updated as of May 31 2016 12:02 AM

Vice president-elect Leni Robredo answers questions during a press conference after her proclamation in a joint session of Congress on Monday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Robredo: Monthly rent for Coconut Palace is P500,000

MANILA - Vice President-elect Leni Robredo on Monday said she is looking at ways to use the budget allotted for the Office of the Vice President for things other than renting the Coconut Palace as her office.

Speaking to reporters, Robredo said she has yet to talk to the team of incumbent Vice President Jejomar Binay for the transition, adding that among the things she want to talk about is the possibility of not holding office at the Coconut Palace.

"Kung prudent ba, o prudent pa na mag-opisina sa Coconut Palace o baka may option na mas mura. Ang alam ko kasi, 'yung arkila ng Coconut Palace is a little less than P500,000. Half a million din 'yun, a month. May pangalawang opisina, 'yung 7th floor ng PNB Building. So pag-aaralan natin, ano ba 'yung mas magandang arangement," she said.

The Coconut Palace, located on the compound of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, is the official residence and workplace of the Vice President of the Philippines.

For Robredo, the money for the monthly rent of the Coconut Palace can be used for other purposes, such as the creation of satellite offices in provinces.

"Ako kasi parati kong sinasabi na ang itutulak ko sana, rural development. Makakatulong sana na merong satellite offices. So iniisip ko, baka mas maganda na tipirin 'yung operations ng central pero magkaroon several na satellite offices. Pero everything is up in the air hangga't hindi namin nakaka-meeting ang Office of the Vice President," she said.

Robredo: Taking the bus is cheaper than flying

Robredo also said she will try to look for other means of transportation to travel to Camarines Sur, following concerns about her safety as she often takes the bus home.

"Actually po, alam ko na nag-aalala kayo. Ano naman po 'yun, isang bagay na nag-e-evolve. Aaminin ko po, 'yung huli po naming uwi, nung Thursday, talagang naghanap naman kami. Matagal na kaming nakabook sa bus, pero dahil sa concerns, naghanap naman talaga kami ng plane tickets. Pero alam niyo po, apat po kasi kaming uuwi. 'Yung isa pong plane ticket ay P9,000 pauwi. Napakamahal po ng plane ticket papunta sa amin, 'yung bus po P1,000 lang. Kung magbabayad ako ng P9,000 times four, kaya ko na siguro arkilahin 'yung buong bus," she said.

She also said that they have security personnel with them on the bus, and promised to limit the number of times she will take public transportation.

"Hihingi po ako sa inyo ng paumanhin. Isesekreto ko po sana, pero lumabas na rin. Dadalangan na po natin. Hindi ko po maipa-promise na totally hindi na, pero siguro po magiging mas madalang na. Ie-explore po 'yung ibang means of transport," Robredo said.

Robredo also said that she feels safer riding the bus than bringing her own vehicle.

"Marami pong nagsasabi na magdala ka na lang ng sariling sasakyan, pero alam niyo po, kung familiar po kayo sa pag-uwi sa amin, mas delikado pong magdala ng sariling sasakyan. Kasi hindi pa po okay 'yung mga roads sa amin. Mas safe po talaga, mas malayo sa aksidente 'yung bus," she said.

READ: Proclamation seals VP-elect Robredo's stunning win