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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, July 9, 2016
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Leni as housing czar
signals unity, healing

Negros Occidental and Bacolod officials yesterday welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte's appointment of Vice President Leni Robredo as head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, calling it a step towards unity and healing.

“It is a very good sign of unity,” Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Maranon Jr. said.

“President Rodrigo Duterte is doing the right thing. He can make good use of Vice President Robredo and she can really help him,” he said.

The governor congratulated Robredo for her appointment as HUDCC chair, saying he is confident she will make a difference as the new housing secretary. May Robredo, through the HUDCC, be able to fulfill the aspirations of the Filipino people belonging to the marginalized sector, he said.

Housing for the poor was one of the causes she and her late husband, former Local Government secretary Jesse Robredo, championed as public servants, he pointed out.

“President Duterte should be commended as well for choosing Leni because if you follow the policy  pronouncements of both leaders during their separate oath-taking, their priorities for the country are headed towards the same direction - and that is making the lives of the poor better, Duterte said.

Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said “The nation should be elated that we have that cordial and working relationship between president and vice president, for sure it will translate to positive developments in the whole country.

“Robredo has her own following and an impressive track record, We can see there is still so much potential in her that can be tapped,” he said.

“I congratulate president Duterte for that very wise move,” Leonardia said.

Former Negros Occidental Gov. Rafael Coscolluela called the appointment of Robredo as HUDCC head a "smart move”.

“If sincere, it will provide an opportunity for VP Leni to help the administration address our many problems. It also opens an avenue for the nation to begin the healing process and to move forward,” Coscolluela said.

Coscolluela said he wishes Duterte and Robredo the best of success and good health as they face the challenges over the next six years.

“On our end (civil society), we call on every Filipino to contribute towards nation-building as well through responsible citizenship and positive engagement with government,” Coscolluela said.

Yesterday, Robredo vowed to prioritize reducing the 1.4 million housing backlog of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, with a limited budget.*CPG

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