President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Vice President Leni Robredo to lead the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC). This was confirmed by Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar to the media Thursday night.
In response, Robredo thanked Duterte for the appointment, saying that it will put her in a better position to help those marginalized in the society. “Mas mapaglilingkuran natin ang ating mga kababayang walang tahanan at maipagpapatuloy natin ang ating pangakong itulak ang kaunlaran at kaginhawaan para sa ating mga kapus palad na kababayan,” she said.
Robredo’s appointment as housing secretary comes three days after she paid a courtesy call at the Malacanang Palace. Robredo described her meeting with Duterte as “very cordial.” She noted that although they are from rival political parties, the President has his full support.
“Pareho kami nanggaling sa lokal, pareho yung appreciation namin ng maraming bagay. Pareho yung intiricacies na pinagdaanan,” she said.
Speculations about what cabinet post Duterte will offer to Robredo, if any, has been going on for weeks. The President had previously said that he is reluctant to give her a job in his administration because they are from opposing parties and that because it might hurt his alliance with former Senator Bongbong Marcos, who has a pending electoral protest against Robredo.
— Leni Robredo (@lenirobredo) July 7, 2016
Curiously, former Vice Presidents Noli de Castro and Jejomar Binay also served as housing czar during their respective terms of office.
Article VII of the 1987 Constitution does not spell out specific tasks for Vice Presidents although it noted that they can be appointed for cabinet posts without having to undergo confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.