First 100 days as president: VP Robredo to 'clean up' gov't, focus on COVID-19

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 03 2022 12:03 AM

Leni wants lifestyle checks with SALN 

Vice President Leni Robredo meets with her supporters and volunteers from Tawi-Tawi at the Rachel’s Hotel, the Robredo People’s Council (RPC) Volunteer Center in Bongao, Jan. 25, 2022. Jay Ganzon, OVP 
Vice President Leni Robredo meets with her supporters and volunteers from Tawi-Tawi at the Rachel’s Hotel, the Robredo People’s Council (RPC) Volunteer Center in Bongao, Jan. 25, 2022. Jay Ganzon, OVP 

MANILA — Vice President Leni Robredo said on Wednesday she would focus on the COVID-19 crisis and "cleaning up" government in her first 100 days in office if she wins the presidency in the May 9 elections. 

"Granting na pandemic pa ngayon, iyong kalusugan talaga ang tututukan natin. Iyong tututukan natin, siguraduhin na ma-control natin ang pag-spread ng COVID-19 kasi ‘pag na-control natin ‘to, it would set to motion many things," Robredo said in DZRH's "Presidential Job Interview". 

(Granting there's still a pandemic, we will focus on health. We will focus on ensuring that we control the spread of COVID-19 because if we control this, it would set to motion many things.)

Robredo earlier proposed a COVID-19 response plan that requires at least P500 billion for the payment of all government debts in hospitals, and the establishment of a "modern network" for the distribution of cash aid, among others. 

Asked what else is most important during the first 100 days in office, Robredo said, "Paglinis ng gobyerno (cleaning up government)." 

“Pinakauna sigurong gagawin natin, iyong choice natin ng mga ia-appoint nating officials. Kasi iyon ‘yong pinaka-symbol na seryoso tayo sa ating commitment na lilinisin natin ang pamalahaan,” said the opposition leader. 

(Perhaps the first thing we will do is choose the officials we will appoint because that is the main symbol that we are serious in our commitment to clean the government.)

“Sa akin, iyong most important first step, sino iyong mga ia-appoint natin sa pamahalaan kasi ipapakita natin sa tao, ‘Seryoso pala ito, hindi pala lip service lang,’” she continued. 

(To me, the most important first step is who we will appoint in government posts because it will show to the people, ‘This is serious, it is not just lip service.’) 

Robredo said that under her government, it would not be enough for officials to disclose their Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN). 

“Kailangan mayroon din regular lifestyle checks kasi ‘pag SALN lang, marami kasing mga butas, maraming butas iyong batas na puwedeng mayroon kang pag-aari nito, pero hindi mo niri-report,” she said. 

(There should be regular lifestyle checks because if it’s the SALN alone, the law has many loopholes, in which you could have this property but not report it.)

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Asked if a new agency should be formed for these lifestyle checks, Robredo said, “Hindi naman kailangan gumawa pa ng another layer.” 

"Kailangan lang natin siguraduhin iyong mga maa-appoint nating mag-head ng mga opisinang ‘yon ay talagang siya din iyong model, parang exemplar ng kalinisan at tututukan niya talaga iyong pag-operationalize ng lahat ng anti-corruption measures,” she said. 

(It’s unnecessary to create another layer. We just need to ensure that the heads of office we appoint are models, exemplars of integrity and they will focus on operationalizing all anti-corruption measures.)

But Robredo acknowledged that aside from appointing honest and competent officials, the Philippines needs to pass laws that would ensure accountability, including a measure that would make all procurement deals public even without a request. 

She said there should also be People’s Councils “in all levels of government”, which would allow the participation of ordinary citizens. 

“Iyong pinakakonsepto lang nito, ‘pag ang tao, pinapanood ka o ‘pag iyong tao kasama siya sa process, unang-una napipilitan iyong public servant na maging maayos. Pangalawa, ‘pag kasama siya sa process, magiging mas understanding siya sa ways of governance… nagiging cooperative siya dahil dito,” she said. 

(The main concept here is the people monitor you or if the people are part of the process, the public servant is forced to act properly. Second, the public is more understanding of the ways of governance and becomes cooperative because of this.)