At 3:45 pm, the Vice President attended the 21st Laiko Biennial Convention in Diwa ng Tarlac Center, Tarlac City. Over 300 representatives of various Laiko member organizations was gathered for the general assembly and voted for the board of directors.
In her message, the Vice President emphasized the need for institutions and programs to enable public officials to be more inclusive and efficient. She cited some programs in Naga City initiated by the late Sec. Jesse Robredo such as the People’s Council. She emphasized the need to include the people in decision-making. “The People’s Council became very, very strong na sila na iyong naging parallel ng… sila na iyong naging parallel ng local government. Ano iyong maganda kung bakit may—ano iyong maganda na mayroong parallel na parang local government unit? May nagbabantay. Parati pong sinasabi ng asawa ko noon, it is not enough for a public official to be good. There has to be, alam mo iyon, institutions and programs that will force them to be good. Sa Naga ang nangyari, iyong institution na iyon iyong People’s Council. So sa magagandang mga adhikain ng gobyerno, partner niya na iyong tao. Halimbawa, sa public market namin napakababa ng singil noon kasi iyong mga politiko, ayaw niyang taasan iyong rent kasi mababawasan siya ng boto. Pero, noong nandiyan na iyong People’s Council, alam nila kung papaano at saan napupunta, ang People’s Council na ang nagsabing, “taasan niyo na. Taasan niyo na iyong rates.” Kabahagi sila sa pag-determine kung magkano iyong rates na itataas at kabahagi sila sa pag-determine papaano gagamitin iyong increase in rentals. So in other words, kabahagi siya talaga.”