VP wants 5-year term for village execs

Published June 19, 2018, 11:10 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Raymund Antonio
If she would have it her way, Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo wants to extend the three-year term in office of village officials to five years.
Vice President Leni Robredo spoke at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in the United Kingdom on Saturday, April 7, 2018 (Manila time), in the event called "Overcoming Poverty in the Philippines and the Role of Politics in Economic Growth." The event was organized by the student society DESTIN, in partnership with the LSE International Development department, and the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Center. Here, VP Leni was invited for a talk that focused on the economy, politics, and the state of poverty in the Philippines, to an audience that included students of LSE and other universities, among them Filipinos taking up post-graduate studies in London. (Photo by OVP)
Vice President Leni Robredo

Her reason: To insulate them from politics.

Robredo, who served briefly as housing czar in the Duterte administration, said the current term for village officials is too short for their plans and programs.

“Noong miyembro pa tayo ng 16th Congress, isa na ito sa panukala natin – na mas habaan iyong term of office ng mga barangay officials. Kasi isa din itong paraan para ilayo sila sa masyadong pulitika,” she said. (When I was still a member of the 16th Congress, this was one of my proposals – to extend the terms of village officials. Because it is also a way to keep them away from too much politics.)

The Vice President said she believes that when village elections are “too politicized,” it is not good for the local community.

“At habang ganito kadalas iyong eleksyon – dahil three years iyong term of office nila – hindi talaga malalayo sa ganoon na danger,” Robredo said. (And while the conduct of these elections is frequent – because their term of office is three years – they are not far from that kind of danger.)

Robredo was in Naga City last Monday to lead the oath-taking of newly-elected village captains and youth council officials coinciding with the city’s 70th Charter Day.

The Vice President addressed the new Naga village and youth council chairmen, telling them to truthfully carry out their tasks of serving their communities.

Robredo said that the youth council should serve as “training ground” for the country’s future leaders.

“Iyong sa akin, mabuti na i-capacitate sila para alam nila at handa sila para maging tunay na representative ng mga kabataan,” she said. (For me, it would be better to capacitate them so they will know and be ready to become the true representatives of the youth.)