WARM WELCOME. Vice President Sara Z. Duterte talks to 500 learners and their parents during the distribution of school supplies and relief packs at Jordan gymnasium on Thursday (Aug. 25, 2022). In her message, she thanked Guimarasnons for their support to the present administration and former President Rodrigo Duterte. (PNA photo by Perla Lena)

 ILOILO CITY – The promotion of the bamboo industry in Guimaras brings the promise of income and livelihood to its people, Vice President Sara Z. Duterte said on Thursday.

“I believe Guimaras is only best known for many Filipinos as the island where one can find the best variety of carabao mangoes. But there is more to Guimaras, apart from its world class mangoes. The local government officials and the people of the island are helping each other, supporting each other promote the Guimaras bamboo industry,” she said in a message during her visit to the island and launch of the province's local economic development roadmap.

Duterte added that the bamboo industry's success would benefit local farmers, bamboo artisans, and traders who would be instrumental in establishing and improving the value chain.

The province’s roadmap has positioned its programs, projects, and activities to develop Guimaras as a major destination in the agri-eco tourism industry in Western Visayas and as a resilient agri-eco tourism capital of the country.

Guimaras Provincial Administrator Emmanuel Galila, in his message, said they would like to open linkage between the province and national government for support.

Meanwhile, Duterte also graced the distribution of the “pagbaBAGo” gift-giving programs where 250 Grade 1 and another 250 Grade 7 learners received school bags containing supplies and dental kits.

Another 1,000 recipients, including mothers of the 500 learners, also received relief supplies.

The Vice President said back when she was mayor of Davao City, they have the “pagbaBAGo” program for parents and learners.

She told the learners that the provision of bags would not change their lives but would spur their determination to succeed by being diligent in their studies.

“Education is the greatest equalizer. Sa edukasyon walang mahirap o mayaman (In education there is no rich or poor),” she said.

She also thanked the support extended by the Guimaras residents to the current administration led by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and that of former President Rodrigo Duterte. (PNA)