‘Moving Up’: Robredo’s dreams for OVP fullfilled as she bids goodbye to emotional staff

Published June 27, 2022, 6:39 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Outgoing Vice President Leni Robredo has so far met with volunteer artists during her 2022 presidential campaign, her Bayanihan E-Konsulta volunteers, and many other personalities as she nears the end of her term, but now it is time for her to bid goodbye to the people who have stood by and sacrificed their time for her: the staff at the Office of the Vice President (OVP).

An emotional in-house helper of the Office of the Vice President (OVP) gives outgoing Vice President Leni Robredo a hug during their last general assembly on Monday, June 27, 2022. (Photo by Jay Ganzon/OVP)

Despite being a “demanding boss”, the Vice President gave props to her staff at the last general assembly held on Monday, June 27, at the Quezon City Reception House (QCRH), where Robredo had held office for the past six years.

She will step down from power, busy herself running a non-government organization, and become citizen Leni officially at noon of June 30.

In her speech, Robredo said her dream was for people to see the OVP as more than a placeholder office, and for companies to fight over her staff once their contracts have ended.

The outgoing Vice President also wanted to free the office from the clutches of politics.

“Tingin ko lahat ng dreams na ‘yun, na-fulfill (I think all those dreams have been fulfilled),” she said.

But that was only possible because of her staff, she stressed, whom she described as her “shock absorber.”

Whenever her office’s accomplishments come up in the news, her face was plastered in the media when, in fact, it was the hard work and sacrifice of her “underappreciated” staff that led to many of her recognition.

Robredo apologized for all the times the staff “stretched” each other out, adding that she felt guilty because she was one of their stressors.

READ: Robredo says it’s a ‘blessing’ to do well; reflects on difficulties as VP

But never once did they complain about the magnitude of the work they do at the OVP, which, for six years, had to contend against the administration.

Her presidential campaign was seen as a trailblazer, with many noting the volunteerism that powered it.

The lady official said it wouldn’t have been possible without her staff, who inspired the volunteers.

Her staff started to become emotional as she called them by name onstage, awarding exemplary employees and staff, who all wore a ribbon that read, “Honored to be a public servant.”

She thanked her closest staff and close-in aides, jokingly apologized for all the times she was “masungit (cranky)”, and hugged one of the OVP’s in-house helpers who was teary-eyed.

READ: Countdown to June 30: Robredo recalls many ‘firsts’ of her VP stint

On Wednesday, June 29, Robredo will hold her final office day at the QCRH because she wants the space to be ready for incoming Vice President Sara Duterte on Thursday, June 30.

Though this will be one of the last few days her staff gets to see her, the Vice President doesn’t want to end her speech on a sad note.

Instead, she said the general assembly, themed “Moving Up”, should be a “happy event” because for her, it only meant “see you again.”