By Raymund Antonio
Actively engaging the community as a partner of local governance, Vice President Leni Robredo emphasized once again the need for the government to involve people in crafting policies.
Robredo, who was in Cainta, Rizal on Friday for the launch of the Ahon Laylayan Koalisyon, said that making programs for the people does not only rest on leaders.
“Sana kapag napalakas na natin iyong sarili natin, iyong mga local governments, may espasyo para sa civil society at saka para sa mga organisasyon. Para kapag nagpaplano iyong bawat lugar, kapag gumagawa ng budget iyong bawat lugar, napapakinggan kayo,” she said.
(I hope once we have empowered ourselves, the local governments have space for civil society and organizations. So that if they plan for every area, if they set a budget, you’re being heard.)
“Iyon naman iyong gusto natin—pakinggan tayo para kapag gumawa ng programa ang pamahalaan, kasama iyong pagtugon sa ating mga pangangailangan,” Robredo added.
(That’s what we want—we will be heard when the government makes a program, responding to our needs is included.)
Robredo’s commitment to create a platform for people empowerment and participation has brought her to various provinces in the country, touching base with multi-sectoral groups to voice out their concerns.
The Vice President is the widow of late Interior secretary Jesse Robredo, who was known for involving civic society and people’s groups in governance when he was Naga City mayor.
In Rizal, she met with 1,000 leaders and representatives of different sectors, including women, farmers, fisherfolk, persons with disability, youth, senior citizens, non-government organizations, and indigenous people.
Robredo noted that government leaders tend to discuss among themselves the needs and concerns of the community, but the best solutions come from the people.
“Kasi kadalasan iyong problema sa pamahalaan mga lider lang iyong nag-uusap. Kapag lider lang iyong nag-uusap, iyong akala ng mga lider na solusyon, hindi pala iyon iyong gusto ng taumbayan,” she said in her speech.
(The problem often with the government is only the leaders who talk to each other. If they are just them involved, the solution they thought is not what the people wants.)
“Pero ang gusto natin kinalaunan, iyong mga local government units bibigyan tayo ng espasyo sa governance (But what we want the local government units would later on give us space in governance),” Robredo added.