By Raymund Antonio
The mothers and other women who are part of her office’s local production of protective suits for health workers got a surprise visit from Vice President Leni Robredo.
Robredo surprised sewers when she made an unannounced visit to the Payatas Solidarity of Orphans and Widows (SOW) in Quezon City and Gawad Kalinga community in Smokey Mountain, Tondo, Manila.
She also visited Sosysal Corp., Isadora Fashion Line, GTVL Manufacturing Industries, Inc., and Power Fashion, Inc., which is an affiliate of clothing brands Bayo, Unica Hija, and Viseversa, to the disbelief of its business owners and sewers.
“Kamusta kayo (How are you?)” Robredo asked as she walked in. ”Bibisitahin lang po namin kayo para magpasalamat (We are only visiting to thank you).”
”Sabi ko huwag sabihin para hindi na kayo… Kapag sinabi pa kasi baka maabala pa kayo eh (I said not tell you about my visit…
Because if we tell you, we could disturb you in your work),” she said.
Robredo’s surprise visit was documented in a video which her office posted on her official Facebook account.
In the video, Robredo, who was wearing a face mask, encountered some sewers who turned emotional upon seeing her.
“Naiiyak naman ako (I feel like crying),” one of the sewers told her.
“Mas ganado po sila ngayon kasi nakita kayo (They are more motivated now because they saw you). Inspired, inspired. Thank you, ma’am,” another one said.
Robredo went down memory lane during her visit to the GTVL, an apparel manufacturing company that owns the sole license for Jockey brand in the Philippines.
Robredo recalled she used to sell Jockey products as ”one of her sideline jobs” while she was still a student and teacher.
“I know all your products unless you have additional ones already, but the ones in the early 90s, i know everything. Nagtinda ako niyan noong araw (I sold these items before),” she said.
“Never na naisip ko na mangyayari iyong pagkakataon na ito, na iyong pinanggalingan kong nakatulong sa kita ko noong nakaraang panahon ay nabisita ko (I never imagined that this opportunity would happen, that I would visit the company that helped me in my livelihood in the past),” she added.
Robredo’s office has tapped female sewers to make protective suits for health workers as it faced difficulty purchasing the protective gear due to the rising global demand for it brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Robredo said producing the suits locally has also provided jobs to Filipino women who are affected by the public health crisis.