MANILA - Former vice president Jejomar Binay on Wednesday said he would push for the amendment of the Constitution to "give the vice president a job," should he win a Congressional seat in the 2019 midterm polls.
Under the 1987 Constitution, the vice president serves as the immediate replacement of the president should the chief executive "die" or "become permanently disabled" to carry out his or her functions.
"Sa States, ang vice president ay ang presiding officer of the Senate. Dito, ang vice president titinga-tingala lang sa langit, 'Kailan kaya ako papalit? Ano kaya ang magiging trabaho ko?'" Binay told reporters.
(In the US, the vice president is the presiding officer of the Senate. Here in the Philippines, the vice president would do nothing but look up at the sky and wonder, 'When would I replace the president? What should be my job?'")
"Ang gusto ko sanang ma-amend sa Constitution natin ay magkaroon ng trabaho ang vice president... Bigyan na lang ng role na hindi may kulay pulikita, katulad sa'kin, housing," Binay said referring to his appointment as housing chief under the administration of Benigno Aquino III.
(I want to amend the Constitution to give the vice president a job. Give him or her a role that won't be tainted by politics like housing.)
Binay said the president and vice president should also be elected in tandem to avoid political conflicts.
"Sa atin pa naman, madalas o halos lahat ng president o vice president come from different parties so simula pa lang meron nang panggagalingan na hindi makakatulong 'yung vice president doon sa administrasyon," he said.
(Here in the Philippines, the president and vice president usually come from different parties so at the start of their term, there are already reasons to believe that the vice president will not help the administration.)
President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Vice President Leni Robredo as the chief of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) in 2016.
Duterte eventually fired Robredo from the post after 5 months for allegedly having "major differences in principles and values."