By Raymund Antonio
“Every choice, every day, that we make is who we are as Filipinos,” Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday told young leaders who completed the Angat Buhay Young Leaders in Government (ABYLG) Fellowship program.
In a speech before the 39 ABYLG graduates, Robredo said true leaders respond to the needs of the people they govern despite a difficult situation.
“What we are doing now—no matter how we think—no matter how small we think they are—contributes to who we will be in the future,” Robredo, a former drug czar, said.
“So it is always how do we contribute to the greater whole—value the kind of work we have. When we say value, respect every assignment and mandate given to us, even how hard it is,” she said.
The Vice President delivered the closing remarks during the graduation ceremony of the ABYLG fellowship for young public servants held at the Quezon City Reception House.
This year, the first batch of 39 fellows with various designations from local government units, national government agencies, and the legislative branch, among others, took part in the fellowship.
The training program covered three themes such as personal development skills for progressive leaders, political systems and theories, and transformative governance.
ABYLG is supported by the Office of the Vice President and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES)- Philippines.
In her remarks, Robredo shared her personal experience to the graduates when she worked under an “uninspiring boss,” an apparent allusion to President Rodrigo Duterte.
The Chief Executive appointed Robredo in late October to co-chair the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), only to be fired 19 days later from the post.
“The challenge really is how to find your light in the midst of darkness. How to find solutions in an environment where the limitations given to you are just too much,” she said.
“The easy way is to pass the blame on others. ‘I wasn’t able to do my job because I was uninspired with my boss. I wasn’t able to perform well because I was not motivated by my boss.’ If that’s our reason, we are not true leaders,” Robredo stressed.
“But true leaders will say that ‘even if I have an uninspiring boss, I am still doing my job well,'” the lady official said.
Robredo advised the young leaders that they should not to be overcome by their egos while they work for the government.
“If we work for government, there is no space for our egos. That if we work for the government, there is no space for unnecessary emotions, because people expect a lot from us,” she said.