Vice President Leni Robredo said on Wednesday, July 28, the country’s experience with the coronavirus pandemic underscored the role of the government to build resilience.
Speaking at the 5th Asian Philanthropic Development Conference (APDC), Robredo noted that building resilience entails cultivating a culture of involving people in the communities.
“The call is to collaborate; to listen for real; to give people a say in coming up with solutions,” she said in her online speech, a transcript of which was released to media by the Office of the Vice President (OVP).
“lt calls for giving people spaces where they can participate and be heard—where they can talk about their concerns, the risks they face, and the issues they think we should be paying more attention to,” Robredo added.
The vice president stressed the importance of collaboration of the government with its own citizens to allow it to “harness an entire ecosystem of governance.”
“Resilience can only be truly built from the ground up. It starts in the grassroots, and must be nourished by constant participation so it grows and bears fruit,” she said.
She cited the lessons she learned from her late husband Jesse Robredo and her own experience of governance for being a former Camarines Sur representative and now as vice president.
Jesse was a three-term Naga City mayor and former Interior secretary during the previous Aquino administration who died in a plane crash in August 2012.
He was known for his tsinelas (slippers) leadership, believing that everyone, most especially those at the grassroots level of society, should take part in governance.
Robredo also said the government must constantly work to strengthen its credibility among stakeholders on the foundation that “trust is the currency of governance.”
Despite its meager resources and limited mandate, the OVP has initiated COVID-19 response programs in partnership with the private sector to help Filipinos heavily impacted by the pandemic.
Among these are providing personal protective equipment (PPE) sets for frontliners, Bayanihan E-skwela for teachers, parents, and students, free medical consultation service called Bayanihan E-Konsulta, and the Vaccine Express and Swab Cab initiatives.
“I mention this because from where I stand, it is clear: It is the same spirit of communal responsibility, the same premium on trust, integrity, and accountability, that our leaders and communities will need to better build resilience,” she said.