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    Interview with Vice President Leni Robredo at STC

    13 October 2017

    iLEAD Leadership Forum St. Theresa’s College, Quezon City

    Q: Ma’am, we would like to ask po regarding… your reaction po because you got a high net satisfaction rating sa SWS survey. VP LENI: Ako naman, the surveys are supposed to give you a feel of what people want and what they don’t. Most of the time, parang this is the barometer of how people accept or receive our policies, our programs, etcetera, etcetera. Pero sa amin kasi, while importante iyong surveys, there are also times when doing the right thing is not equivalent to doing what is popular. Kaya we try not to be ruled by surveys also. Iyong sa amin, parating… parating masarap kapag mataas ka sa survey, kasi it is an affirmation that you’re doing something right, pero again, sometimes when you do something right, it is unpopular. So it really has to be a balance of what is right and— Hindi naman balance, kasi dapat ang parating measure ay what is right, if you’re doing what is right. So itong surveys, mahalaga lang siya para mararamdaman mo iyong pulso ng bayan.

    Q: So Ma’am, so far, happy about it? VP LENI: Oo naman, happy with the rise. Gustong sabihin, nararamdaman ng tao iyong ating ginagawa. Gustong sabihin, parang accepted ng tao iyong kabutihan na ginagawa natin, despite the very limited resources of our office.

    Q: Vice President, I hope you don’t mind me asking: what aspect do you think na mataas iyon pon[g approval] kaya mataas iyong ratings natin? What aspect of the programs? VP LENI: Ako, iyong core program kasi ng opisina namin, iyong Angat Buhay. It is an anti-poverty program, at ito talaga iyong pinaka-anchor ng ginagawa namin sa opisina. Iyong pagtaas sa survey, tinitingnan namin siya na nararamdaman na ng tao. Kasi mahirap— Nag-umpisa kami October of last year, at dahil very limited iyong aming resources, hindi namin napo-promote iyong aming program. Nag-umpisa kami, 50 towns. Now we’re in 153 poor communities all over the country. We started with kaunting pamilyang natutulungan. Ngayon ang bilang namin, 83,000 families na iyong natulungan. So ito, ang tingin lang namin, malaking bagay din na nararamdaman na, kasi lalong nagbibigay sa amin ito ng lakas at inspirasyon, na lalong pagbutihin at lalong palawakin iyong ating ginagawa.

    Q: Ma’am, there’s an additional 20 million [pesos], correct, Ma’am? VP LENI: Oo. First time, actually, ito na magkakaroon ng pondo iyong Angat Buhay. During the past year, mayroon na kaming pondo for operations, for salaries, for ceremonial [functions], pero wala talaga for programs. Ito, first time na binigyan kami, so no matter how small, napakalaking bagay nito, kasi during the past year of operations of Angat Buhay, ang ginagawa lang namin, link lang kami between communities needing help and private organizations wanting to help. Okay naman siya, marami namang gustong tumulong, pero kapag biglaan kasi, mahirap. Lalo na kapag may sakuna. Halimbawa, may bagyo, may nangangailangan ng pagkain sa mga evacuation centers, hindi makapag-respond right away kasi hihingi ka pa sa mga partners. Pero ngayon na mayroon na kaming kaunting pondo, kapag kailangan na kailangan, puwede na kaming mag-aksyon kahit wala pa iyong tulong mula sa aming partners.

    Q: Ma’am, one last question: Iyong sa drop lang po— Reaction sa slight drop lang po of the ratings of… the SWS ratings for President Duterte? VP LENI: The same kasi siya. Whether increase siya or drop, ano lang ito, parang… Ang laging tanong mo sa sarili mo, “Ano ba iyong nagawa ko na nagustuhan ng tao? At ano iyong nagawa ko na hindi nagustuhan ng tao?” So kapag may drop—lalo na kapag malaki ang drop—dapat parang mag-step back para tingnan ano ba iyong hindi nagustuhan ng tao sa ginagawa ko? Tapos ano ba iyong hindi nila nagugustuhan? Mali ba ang ginagawa? Itong surveys, malaking tulong ito sa aming mga public officials, kasi ito iyong, most of the time, wake-up call. Ano iyong ginagawa mong mali, o ano iyong hindi mo ginagawa, o ano iyong ginagawa mong tama? So iyong drop, ganoon din. Ganoon din iyong dapat gawin—tanungin ang sarili kung ano iyong ginagawang hindi akma sa kagustuhan ng tao.

    Q: Thank you! VP LENI: Thank you!

    – 30 –

    Posted in Transcripts on Oct 12, 2017