• President Rodrigo Duterte finally appointed VP Leni Robredo as chief of the HUDCC
  • Robredo became the third vice president to become the government’s housing czar
  • The vice president accepted Duterte’s offer and thanked the President

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has finally ended speculations after appointing Vice President Leni Robredo as chief of the government’s Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), three days after their closed door meeting in Malacañang.

Robredo paid Duterte a courtesy visit on Monday, July 4 but reiterated his private meeting with Duterte was not to seek a position and only to personally convey her support for the President.

But on Thursday, Duterte finally offered Robredo the HUDCC portfolio once held by former Vice Presidents Jejomar Binay and Noli de Castro to become the current administration’s housing czar.

Robredo’s appointment was confirmed by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre during a press conference in Malacañang earlier in the day.

“The Vice President accepted the offer and she was asked to report for the first Cabinet meeting on Monday. I believe that both parties – the President and the Vice President are happy,” Aguirre said in a statement.

On why the President, who was earlier reluctant to give Robredo a Cabinet post, seems to have a change of heart on his treatment of the vice president, Aguirre said he could only speculate.

“I believe there was some sort of warming up between the two. In the newspaper it was reported that the past two meetings between the two are very amiable,” the Justice secretary explained. “So, I believe that was the key for the president to offer her a position and for the vice president to accept it.”

Accepted

In a statement, Robredo thanked Duterte for appointing her as part of the administration’s Cabinet.

“Nagpapasalamat tayo kay Presidente Rodrigo Duterte na itinalaga tayo bilang Tagapangulo ng Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council,” said Robredo. “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.”

[I thank President Rodrigo Duterte for appointing me as head of the HUDCC. We can serve better our people who does not own a house and, at the same time, we can continue with our promise to promote progress and comfort for our impoverished countrymen.]

Robredo added that providing the people with homes where they can live is one of her late husband Jesse’s aspirations.

“Maisasakatuparan ito at mabibiyayaan ang mga nasa laylayan sa pakikipagtulungan ng lahat,” she added.

[This will finally be realized and those at the bottom will benefit from this with the cooperation of everyone.]