The camp of Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo already declared victory in the tightly-contested vice presidential race. The first-term lawmaker has maintained a small-but-persistent lead over Senator Bongbong Marcos since the second day of the vote counting, and it seems unlikely that she will be overtaken.
With the VP race now settled, it is just appropriate for us to discuss the cabinet position that can be a perfect fit for Robredo. I think the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will suit her educational background: Her degree in economics will equip her in managing the allocation of resources in social welfare programs while being a lawyer will enable her to conduct investigative work as regards the distribution of social welfare benefits.
She also exudes compassion and sincerity. During calamities and emergencies, her aura of calm and confidence will surely assure the public. Her work experience with farmers will come in handy now that drought-induced hunger is affecting much of southern Philippines.
Her exposure to her husband’s DILG and LGU work will help her in dealing with local officials. Her familiarity with non-governmental organizations and civil society groups will be an asset too. Also, the poor and needy can relate to her simplicity and humbleness.
If she indeed gets appointed by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, I hope she does the following:
1) Establish a microcredit bank like the the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh to make the poor economically active and become entrepreneurs.
2) Open food banks in all barangays to deal with hunger and malnutrition and to make use of the smuggled goods confiscated by the Bureau of Customs.
3) Organize livestock chain exchanges to solve the problem of protein deficiency in poor areas of the country like how it is effectively done in Latin America.
4) Cultivate and domesticate alternative staple food source that can address the scarcity of carbohydrate and protein-rich foods.
5) Economically empower social welfare beneficiaries so they will not be dependent forever on the government welfare dole outs.