Vice presidential candidate Dr. Willie Ong on Sunday, March 20, said the vice president should not be treated only as a spare tire.
During the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) PiliPinas Debate 2022, all vice presidential candidates were asked what power or responsibility should be added to the position of the vice president should the Constitution be amended.
“Napakahalaga ng position ng vice president. Hindi maganda na spare tire lang siya (The position of vice president is very important. It’s not good that he’s just a spare tire),” Ong said.
If elected, Ong also said he was more than willing to lead the health sector.
“Mas maganda na bigyan ng position ang vice president para makagawa din siya. Kung sa akin to i-offer, pwede kong kunin ang DOH [Department of Health] (It would be better to give the vice president a position so that he can do the same. If it will be offered to me, I can handle the DOH),” he said.
Ong also pushed for tandem voting to prevent any conflict between the president and vice president in running the government.
(Napakaganda rin na kaagapay ng presidente ang bise president para tuloy-tuloy mga programa, polisiya. Parang tandem sila (It is also very good that the vice president is with the president for continuous programs, policies. They are like a tandem),” he said.
“Mas maganda talaga ‘yung tandem voting eh, nakita ko kasi, sa experience ko, medyo magulo talaga ang politika natin. Maraming sakitan, masasamang salitang nasasabi, kaya kapag hindi mag-partner, hindi ko alam paano sila magta-trabaho eh (Tandem voting is really better, because in my experience, our politics is really a bit chaotic. There is a lot of pain, bad words being said, so when they are not partners, I don’t know how they will work),” he pointed out.
His running mate, presidential candidate and Manila Mayor Francisco “ Isko Moreno” Domagoso, had also pushed for a shift to a two-party political system.
“Kailangan kasi ang vice president laging sinusuportahan yung presidente, kasi yun ang may mando na siya ang pinuno ng bansa. Eh ang problema pag ang nagiging vice president e kalaban, for the next five years wala ng ginawa kundi awayin ng awayin yung presidente, kontrahin ng kontrahin yung presidente kahit wala na sa lugar, o baka dahil sa politika o baka sa personal na intensyon lamang sa political growth (The vice president must always support the president, because he has the command that he is the leader of the country. The problem is when the vice president is the opponent, for the next five years, all he/she will do is quarrel with the president, oppose the president, even if he/she is no longer in place, or maybe because of politics or just personal intentions for political growth),” Domagoso said.