Message of VP Leni Robredo
Baguio City Hall Flag Raising
[START - 00:00]
VP LENI: It is truly a great honor and privilege to be welcome–welcomed in Baguio this way. Pareho po ni Councilor Maylen, sabi niya first time ito, first time din po sa akin. First time din po sa akin na maka, makatungtong dito sa Baguio City Hall. I’ve been to Baguio so many times in the past, even when I was still a child. In fact, after the plane crash that took my husband’s life away, dito po kami nag-Christmas and New Year ng aking mga anak. So, Baguio has been a haven for us. Pero, when I was already a Vice President, I would often be in Baguio for relief operations so parang hindi–parang mga tragedy ‘yung pagpunta ko dito. I was here after Typhoon, Typhoon Ompong in 2018, I was also here after Typhoon Maring in, in–no, I didn’t come pala, during-we sent a team after noong Typhoon Maring. During the pandemic, kinokonsulta po namin si Mayor Benjie sa, for the lessons of the initiatives that he did in Baguio and it is truly an auspicious time to be gracing your flag ceremony, kasi you’re celebrating your Employees’ Week. I am giving tribute to the men and women who help– helped the City fight the pandemic.
Alam niyo po, kanina nagku-kuwentuhan kami ni Mayor Benjie and noong sinabihan ko ‘yung team to request for a courtesy visit dito sa City Hall, sabi po noong team, we are invited to attend the flag ceremony. I was actually hesitant, Mayor. I was actually hesitant kasi sabi ko, hesitant ako kasi presidential candidate ako. Siguro kung hindi ako kandidato, hindi ako hesitant. Pero hesitant ako kasi I felt baka maging very intrusive. So, thank you for welcoming us this way. But it also gives me an opportunity to thank the men and women behind all the successes that Baguio City has achieved over the years. Pag tungtong ko lang po kanina dito sa harap ng City Hall, naalala ko ‘yung asawa ko, who was a friend of Mayor Benjie. My husband was Mayor of Naga for six terms, and he has been fighting a long and lonely battle for good governance. ‘Yung asawa ko po, all his life, even when he was DILG Secretary already, has been pushing for the tenets of good governance gaya ng empowerment of the ordinary Filipino, transparency, and accountability. Ito, ito marami akong nakitang parallelisms in Baguio now, under the leadership of Mayor Benjie. Kanina nagku-kuwentuhan kami ni Mayor Benjie about our frustrations with politics and with many other things that become roadblocks in our quest for… for good governance. And I am happy that Baguio and Naga share a lot of similarities, gaya ng hindi dito nauso ‘yung vote buying, hindi dito nauso ‘yung masyadong–‘yung violence in politics. And I hope you will be able to maintain that in the years to come.
Kami pong mga heads of offices, pag may ginagawang mabuti ‘yung aming opisina, ‘yung credit usually goes to us. Pero I am so happy that Baguio City has found a way to honor ‘yung mga tao na, who should really take the credit for all the good things that have been happening. ‘Yung mga men and women who are doing the more difficult and often thankless jobs, na ngayong umaga ay naparangalan sila.
Please know that we truly appreciate all that Baguio City has been doing para maka-contribute sa ating fight against the pandemic. Alam ko po na kayo ‘yung isa sa mga best performing na mga LGUs as far as contact tracing is concerned, as far as vaccination is concerned. And in fact, kinukulit ko si Mayor Benjie about the lessons here at tinetext ko siya nang tinetext about it na turuan naman kami, and Mayor Benjie has been so selfless in sharing with us ‘yung models–‘yung models ninyo dito sa Baguio.
So, I’m here actually for a wedding. ‘Yung isang pong direktor ng opisina namin, si Atty. Paulo Salvosa will be wed tomorrow to another… another member of the OVP family. Pero sabi ko pupunta ako a day early to visit the many groups who have been helping us already. I have also been here several times for some projects.
In fact, we did a project with sina Councilor Maylen, ‘yung Istorya ng Pag-asa, where we honored the extraordinary stories of ordinary people in order to inspire many others. Noong pandemic po, our team has also been to Baguio so many times, not just to distribute PPE sets and medical supplies, but we found a partner who wanted to remain anonymous. Pero he gave more than a hundred–more than a hundred tablets to elementary school students in two schools here in Baguio. Hindi ko lang po papangalanan kasi he wanted to remain anonymous, pero please know that Vice President pa naman po ako hanggang June 30, and we are always here to, you know, fill the gaps, kung meron. That has always been the tenet of what we have fought for at the Office of the Vice President.
When I was first–when I got elected in 2016, marami pong mga balakid ‘yung aming pagsisilbi. One of them is the limited mandate of the office, another is we have one of the smallest budgets in the entire bureaucracy. But what, what we have proven in the past five and a half years is that if we do not allow the limitations to get in the way of the work that we do, maraming magagawa. Isa pong function of leadership is a leadership that inspires, and a leadership that, you know, ordinary Filipinos can trust and be confident of. And that’s the reason why we were able to do a lot of things that we have been doing at the office, kasi maraming tumitiwala. Pero alam po natin, sa ‘tin pong mga lingkod bayan na nandito, ‘yung tiwala is not something that we’re entitled to. Ang tiwala is something that we should earn. So, at the Office of the Vice President, that’s exactly what we did. Noong umupo po ako, una naming inasikaso ‘yung ISO certification namin, pangalawa naming inasikaso is to make sure that we get the highest COA audit rating year in and year out, and successful naman kami doon. Ang naging dahilan po noon because we were able to prove that we were serious with the, with the work that was–that we set ourselves to do, people started trusting us and they partnered with us along the way so that we can render service to our constituents.
So I’m excited, I’m excited for what will happen today. I will be meeting a lot of many different groups. I’m excited also to, to thank the many groups who have been helping us. And sabi ko po kay Mayor, napaka-suwerte ng Baguio sa maraming bagay. Unang-una pagdating namin kagabi sobrang lamig, parang hindi na ‘ko sanay na malamig, ito po–ito ‘yung Baguio na naaalala ko. Kasi I remember the first visit that I made, parang the first visit na pumunta ako ng Baguio na medyo malaki-laki na ‘ko was to participate in a–ewan ko kung familiar kayo doon, ‘yung National Secondary Schools Press Conference. Tumira kami sa Teacher’s Village, and ‘yun ‘yung pinaka-tumatak sa ‘kin na experience sa Baguio.
And when I arrived last night, all the good memories of Baguio suddenly came back again. But please know that we appreciate all that you have been doing, sa atin pong mga kawani ng pamahalaan na nandito ngayon, of course under the leadership of Mayor Benjie and Vice Mayor Tino, and the rest of the City Council. We are truly appreciative of all your efforts. Maraming salamat po for the warm welcome. We hope to be able to be of service to you until June 30. Maraming salamat, mabuhay po kayo lahat.