By Rjhay E. Laurea
WESTERN VISAYAS — Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte joined the Hiligaynons on two separate occasions held Thursday, August 25 in Iloilo and Guimaras provinces.
Duterte, who remained unaffected with the controversies over the previous administration’s alleged overpriced purchase of laptops and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Erwin Tulfo’s degrading statements against teachers, just continued to perform her cabinet functions as the current head of the Department of Education (DepEd).
The Vice President was among the VIP guests who joined the Ilonggos in celebrating Iloilo City’s 85th Charter Day.
Duterte graced the celebration with a storytelling activity held at Dr. Graciano Lopez Jaena Learning Resource Center and Museum.
She read the story of “The Barter of Panay,” a local historical narrative of Panay Island being traded by the Ati to the Borneans.
Former President and now Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo also attended the storytelling event. Mrs. Arroyo read a story about the history of Iloilo and how it got its name.
The storytelling activity was aimed at encouraging children to love reading.
Meanwhile in Jordan, Guimaras, Vice President Sara Duterte attended the province’s 2nd Bamboo Summit which advocates the cultivation of its bamboo industry as another economic investment.
Known as the country’s producers of top quality carabao mangoes, Duterte congratulated the local government and the people of Guimaras for introducing another investment opportunity that would help them regain the losses brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Isa itong palatandaan na sadyang hindi masusukat ang taglay na kayamanan ng Pilipinas — at ang kayamanang ito, kung gagamitin natin sa tamang pamamaraan, ay magbibigay sa atin ng dagdag na hanap-buhay (This is one of the indicators that the wealth of the Philippines canot be measured and if this wealth will be used properly, will provide us with additional livelihood),” the Vice President said.
“But there is more to Guimaras apart from its world-class mangoes — and I am truly pleased to know that local government officials and the people of the island are helping each other, supporting each other to promote the Guimaras bamboo industry,” she added.
She said the industry, which provides income opportunities, “will benefit local farmers, bamboo artisans, and traders, who will be instrumental in establishing and improving the value chain.”
Duterte also revealed that the national government has been synergising with the business community and economic drivers as the country pushes with its economic recovery efforts.
“The Philippine Chamber of Commerce will gather industry players in the Visayas Region on Friday — to talk about ways to move forward, rebuild from their losses, and develop creative approaches to investment in a world we now call ‘the new normal’,” Duterte said.
The Vice President also announced that business industry players will meet at the Manila Hotel on Friday. “And at the heart of the gathering sits our micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) community who are also eager to recover from the impact of the pandemic,” she added.
She said the Filipinos’ resilience embodies the characteristics of bamboo.
Duterte also distributed “PagbaBAGo Kits” to 500 schoolchildren in Jordan which includes school supplies and dental kits. (ai/mtvn)