Why Yoly Ong thinks Leni should be in Cabinet

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 24 2016 10:33 PM

Women in gov't increases integrity, says veteran ad exec

MANILA - One of the advisers of the communications team of Vice President-elect Leni Robredo during the campaign is still hopeful Robredo will be given a post in President-elect Rodrigo Duterte's Cabinet.

Advertising veteran Yoly Ong told ANC's Headstart on Friday, based on qualifications and competency alone, Robredo deserves a spot in Duterte's executive family.

"It has to be based on meritocracy. It should be the best and the brightest, and Leni is definitely one of the best and the brightest. Therefore, on that basis alone, she should at least have been considered for a portfolio," she said.

Ong cited studies that show having diverse and gender-equal cabinet is not just a popular choice, but a practical one.

"There is enough data done by the global studies that says adding women in government automatically ups the level of integrity, competence, productivity, et cetera."

After his victory, Duterte's camp said it was eyeing a gender-balanced Cabinet like that of Canada's Justin Trudeau.

But his initial list of designates raised eyebrows, as Andrea Domingo was the only woman given an official portfolio, as chief of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

READ: The Duterte Cabinet: All the President's men 

However, Duterte has since named several other women to his Cabinet -- Leonor Briones as Education Secretary, Judy Taguiwalo as Social Welfare Secretary, Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial as Health Secretary, and Wanda Corazon Tulfo Teo as Tourism Secretary.

But for Ong, this can still be improved, and Duterte can still make his Cabinet gender-equal.

"Of course. He’s famous for political will, isn’t he? That's just a mathematical problem," she said.

She also took a swipe at Duterte, saying he "would do better if he were a little less personal about his preferences."

"Being a statesman requires a certain distance and a certain objectivity to be able to see the big picture and not be too embroiled in details, personalities, and the like," she said.