MANILA—The wave of volunteerism born from Vice President Leni Robredo’s campaign will soon have a channel beyond the 2022 elections.
Robredo announced during her thanksgiving speech on Friday that the Angat Buhay program of the Office of the Vice President (OVP) will be turned into a non-government organization.
“Bubuuin natin ang pinakamalawak na volunteer network sa kasaysayan ng ating bansa,” Robredo said.
She said the OVP’s program will be used as its template, having launched programs across the country despite limited funding.
Robredo during her campaign runs in different towns and provinces highlights programs of the Angat Buhay Program as part of her “resibo,” a track record of public services implemented, not to woo voters, but to prove accomplishments beyond her job description as vice president for six years.
People’s councils formed in towns and cities Robredo held rallies in have proven what can be achieved through volunteers’ collective efforts, Robredo said.
“Sa unang araw ng Hulyo, ilulunsad natin ang Angat Buhay NGO,” Robredo said to tumultuous applause.
“Isama kami,” the crowd chanted.
The outgoing Vice President urged supporters and volunteers to join her.
She mentioned especially those who have created new songs and produced videos, as well as groups who organized to launch activities from their own pockets, and even brands and companies who contributed to rallies through supplies of food, drink, and other services.
“Hindi dapat pumanaw ang diwa ng ating kampanya. Ang pinaka-layunin ng gobyernong tapat ay ang pag-angat ng buhay ng lahat,” she said.
Despite the end of the campaign with Robredo’s impending loss to her rival Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., for “kakampinks,” the “pink revolution” had only just begun.
But Robredo said that the continued movement should be more inclusive, emphasizing the messaging her campaign shifted towards in May, when its pink and green integrated the colors of the Philippine flag.
“Hindi pwede na tayo pa ang mahing dahilan ng lalong pagkawatak-watak ng bansa,” Robredo said.
“Hindi tayo mamimili ng tutulungan, wala tayong tatalikuran, ipapakita natin ang buong pwersa ng radikal na pagmamahal,” she added.
Some supporters of the Vice President on social media expressed their dismay at the election results so far by declaring they will stop participating in public service initiatives through donations, opting to let taxes provide for public services.
Robredo acknowledged her supporters' feelings, but urged them to see the reason behind their disappointment.
“Kung may nararamdaman tayong galit, nag-uugat ito sa pag-ibig,” Robredo said.
Robredo’s thanksgiving at the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City attracted thousands of supporters, in what may be a final show of strength after the Vice President directed their energies to more productive avenues.