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Filipino Vice President Advocates for Last, Least, and Lost

Filipino Vice President Leni Robredo is currently working with the administration to prioritize women’s economic progress in the Philippines. As Vice President, Robredo has always advocated for the last, the least, and the lost. These categories encompass people from all walks of life who have been systematically undervalued and mistreated by their government.

When Robredo was voted into office, she spoke in her inaugural address about the five areas she hoped to focus on during her term. These five main concerns were: nutrition and food security, universal healthcare, education, rural development, and women’s empowerment. This list clearly indicates Robredo’s hopes to improve quality of life for all people in the Philippines.

Her roles as a pro-bono lawyer and as a congresswoman have taken her around the country, and Robredo says that because of this she realized the deep-seated problems of poverty throughout the Philippines. After witnessing this, she felt the need to take urgent action to help those in distress.

As a result of Robredo’s findings, the Office of the Vice President is launching a new program, Angat Buhay. This program will be geared toward raising the quality of life for all Filipino families. By focusing on the family and not the individual, this program will be beneficial to both men and women, as well as to both adults and children. Angat Buhay focuses on the five areas that Robredo laid out in her inauguration speech.

The program’s website explains the aims of each of its approaches and how it hopes to achieve these goals. In the initiate for zero hunger, Angat Buhay aims to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. Thus the organization will make families more capable of living healthy and sustainable lives, even on a budget. Because these areas have not received the attention necessary in the past, it remains costly and difficult for many to live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Angat Buhay hopes to make such a lifestyle possible for all.

The program’s focus on education is aimed to ensure inclusive and equitable education for people of all genders, ages, and social statuses. Within this sphere, Angat Buhay aims to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all people. The focus on equitable education for all is essential, as girls and those of lower economic statuses are often disadvantaged due to their lack of education. Angat Buhay also hopes to promote good health and well-being through the healthcare system and a general awareness of the best ways to get and stay healthy.

The fourth goal of Angat Buhay is to provide good work, thus increasing economic growth and prosperity for all. Proponents of the program hope to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth by working toward full and productive employment for all.

Angat Buhay’s work toward achieving gender equality is encompassed in all of these goals, but it also stands on its own as a specific, explicitly stated goal of the organization. By planning to empower all young girls, Angat Buhay indicates the importance of equality and the promotion of policies that will achieve it.

Leni Robredo’s work is far-reaching and has noble goals, and provides a strong example for other countries who have yet to realize the full potentials of all of their citizens.

Featured Image by Brian Evans on Flickr

Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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