MANILA – Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday said she is confident that she did her best in performing her job as the country’s housing czar after being "eased out" of the Cabinet of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Robredo tendered her resignation as chief of Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) after being ordered by Duterte to stop attending Cabinet meetings.
Convinced that she performed well in her tasks, Robredo said she can only presume that her opposing views with Duterte, particularly on the burial of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, prompted the president to exclude her from Cabinet meetings.
“I don’t think even the president or anyone in Cabinet would say na nagkulang ako. Ako lang siguro ang HUDCC chair na personal na dumadalo ng board meetings,” Robredo said in a press briefing.
(I don’t think even the president or anyone in the Cabinet would say I had shortcomings. I was perhaps the only HUDCC chair who attended board meetings.)
“Halos maraming araw sa isang linggo na doon talaga ako nag-oopisina. Their statements (president’s spokespersons) do not in any way imply na iyung pagtanggal sa akin was housing-connected.”
(Almost the entire week I was in the office. The statements of the president’s spokesperson do not in anyway imply that my being eased out was connected to my job as housing czar.)
WHAT’S NEXT FOR LENI?
No longer holding a Cabinet post unlike previous vice-presidents, Robredo said her office will remain relevant.
She said her office started working on other projects, such as the flagship five-point anti-poverty program Angat Buhay, even before Duterte offered her the housing portfolio.
She also said that having been exposed to the problems in the housing sector, Robredo said she will continue her advocacy of giving putting a roof over the heads of more homeless Filipinos.
“Idadagdag namin na adbokasiya ang housing. Mahihirapan na ngayon kasi hindi kami ang pinuno pero dahil naiintindihan namin ang buong problema, magiging very active pa rin kami sa housing,” she said.
(We will add housing to our advocacies. I will admittedly find it hard to operate since I’m no longer the housing czar but since we now have a clearer understanding of the housing problem, we will remain active in the housing sector.)
Robredo also touted her achievements during her short stay in HUDCC. She said she hopes the Duterte administration would be able to continue the things she started.
Among HUDCC’s achievements under Robredo was the cutting of red tape and giving of socialized and low-cost housing for at least 46,000 families as of September 30.
She also cited the 17,000 homes built for survivors of super typhoon Yolanda and the freedom given to displaced informal settlers to choose where to resettle and even design their own homes.