MANILA — For Vice President Leni Robredo, personal presence of government officials during relief operations gives hope and assurance to Filipinos affected by calamities.
This, following criticisms the politician was using the calamity as a photo opportunity. Her supporters were meanwhile concerned that being on the field will increase her coronavirus exposure risk.
“I am always being asked why I bother to personally be there in our relief operations when I can always assign a team to do that for me. During relief operations after calamities, personal presence is very important,” the vice president said Saturday.
“Perhaps even more important than the relief packs we give. Our presence on the ground gives people hope and an assurance that they are not forgotten,” she said..
Robredo said that having access to public officials without worrying about formalities is appreciated by residents in need.
“Reassuring presence is not so much in holding big events or meetings but in the simple, everyday conversations with ordinary people,” Robredo said.
“Just giving people access to us without worrying about protocols or formalities is very much appreciated already,” she added.
Typhoon Rolly, which struck the Philippines as a super typhoon, killed at least 17 people and has affected hundreds of thousands in several provinces.
More than 4 millions of residents in the region remain without electricity and even energy officials are unable to say when power could be restored.