Vice President Leni Robredo is going to extraordinary lengths to respond to the needs of the marginalized sector in her last year in office.
Robredo, an opposition leader, said her office would further maximize the use of its budget for medical assistance and sustainable livelihood and training.
The Office of the Vice President (OVP) received a P229-million increase in its 2021 budget. The hike pushed its budget now to P900 million.
“It is really helpful the Congress, Senate see the proper spending of funds. So hopefully the additional budget given to us by the government will be used to help our countrymen who are suffering now,” she said in Filipino over dzXL.
The OVP, known for its meager resources among government offices, has kept itself busy in its pandemic response activities.
At the same time, Robredo’s office has been supporting various communities and sectors in need nationwide through livelihood subsidies.
She was in Bulacan, Laguna, and Camarines Sur, her home province, last month to provide undisclosed amount of cash assistance to residents as part of the OVP’s livelihood projects.
Robredo said her office has reassessed its budget last year because of COVID-19, so it can provide better assistance to those affected by the pandemic and the typhoons last November and December.
The OVP provided more medical assistance, as well as livelihood programs that now include the Greater Manila Area—Metro Manila and neighboring provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.
“We are not only focused on far-flung provinces because that was our previous emphasis. We expanded it to the Greater Manila Area because there are a lot of people impoverished today,” Robredo said.
It is not only people who lost their jobs that Robredo aims to help, but also those whose work hours have been cut down and small businesses that continue to suffer revenue-wise.
Just last week, the OVP deployed two teams—one to Cebu and one to Iloilo—to “first, monitor our previous projects; and second, assess how much more we can help as far as livelihood assistance and assistance to local government units is concerned.”
The teams are reporting to the OVP daily, so they can assess how to extend more help.