More former government officials and business executives support Robredo

Helen Flores – The Filipino Star

February 22, 2022 | 00:00

MANILA, Philippines — Other former government officials and business leaders have expressed support for aspiring vice president Leni Robredo.

In a joint statement titled “A serious appeal to our fellow Filipinos”, 16 signatories, including former senators Rodolfo Biazon, Ramon Magsaysay Jr., Sergio Osmeña III and Wigberto Tañada, said Robredo “is the most qualified presidential candidate and the most trustworthy who has the political will to reconstruct our sordid past, to inspire hope and inspiration among our people, regardless of their social status, and to bring about change that has long eluded us.

“We deserve a fearless, action-oriented, inclusive and decisive president – leadership qualities that Vice President Leni has successfully demonstrated over the past six years despite her civil service’s limited resources and open hostility. undeserved from the current administration,” they said. .

“We need a leader who values ​​transparency, accountability and collaboration. Vice President Leni only stands for truths and facts while others hide behind lies, excuses and denials,” they said.

“We want a president who respects our democratic processes and who defends at all times the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country,” they said.

Former officials and business leaders also cited her outstanding leadership and unifying qualities, exemplified “by the timely, effective and innovative ways in which she implemented her own pandemic response plan.”

In addition to the four former senators, the 12 others who signed the statement include former congressmen Tomas Apacible, Raul Daza and Felicito Payumo; former governor of Isabela Grace Padaca; former Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, former Secretary of Agriculture Senen Bacani, Secretary of Interior and Local Government Cesar Sarino, and Secretary of Tourism Gemma Cruz-Araneta; former Higher Education Commissioner Ester Garcia, former Philippine Retirement Authority Chairman Luis Sison; former PTV4 President Virgilio Yuzon; and the former director of Poro Point Management Corp. Jose Osias.

One hundred and forty-four former officials and employees of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) also supported Robredo and his running mate, Senator Francis Pangilinan.

“We believe Vice President Leni and Senator Kiko have the most extensive experience in social protection and development. As Vice President, Vice President Leni, with the help of the private sector, lobbied for the Angat Buhay program which has helped thousands of families and communities and has become a bridge to relief operations during of disasters and provided assistance to people and health workers during the pandemic,” they said.

“We support their agenda and slogan ‘Gobyernong Tapat, Angat Buhay Lahat (Honest Government, Better Life for All), which emphasizes the rights and care of the people,’ they said.

Among those who have declared their support for the Robredo-Pangilinan tandem are former DSWD secretaries Judy Taguiwalo and Lina Laigo.

Double allowance for seniors

Meanwhile, Robredo yesterday pledged to double the monthly stipend received by indigent seniors from the national government and expand the program to include all elderly Filipinos if she wins the presidency.

From the current allowance of 500 pesos, Robredo said his administration would increase it to 1,000 pesos, which is a more realistic amount to cover the daily expenses of the elderly which include their basic medications.

This amount, she says, will gradually increase.

Robredo said that from the 202.5 billion peso budget of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for 2022, a total of 25 billion pesos is earmarked for the 500 peso monthly allowance for the destitute elderly people.

She said she intended to increase funding to at least 50 billion pesos in the first year of her presidency without resorting to imposing new taxes.

“We can achieve this by implementing a more rational way of spending people’s money. We need to rethink non-essential expenses such as travel, seminars, acquisition of vehicles and representational allowance given to government officials,” Robredo said in a statement.

“We will encourage sacrifice from all members of the bureaucracy, beginning with the office of the president, to raise funds for important programs,” she added.

Among the expenditure items in the government’s annual expenditure program on which savings could be mandated are travel, for which 19.6 billion pesos are allocated, training (39.5 billion pesos), supplies and equipment (167.7 billion pesos) and professional services or the hiring of consultants (48.5 billion pesos), Robredo said.

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