SOUVENIR. Vice President Sara Z. Duterte takes photos with learners at the launch of the "PagbaBAGo: A Million Learners and Trees" initiative at Mandaue City Sports Complex in Cebu province on Saturday (May 27, 2023). A total of 1,000 Grades 1 and 4 students received backpacks containing school supplies and dental kits while the city government was given seedlings for tree-planting activities. (Courtesy of Inday Sara Duterte Facebook)

CEBU CITY – Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Z. Duterte emphasized the importance of education as a means of reducing poverty as she led the launching of “PagbaBAGo: A Million Learners and Trees” at Mandaue City Sports Complex in Cebu province on Saturday.

A total of 1,000 backpacks containing school supplies and dental kits were distributed to Grades 1 and 4 pupils.

The Office of the Vice President (OVP) aims to distribute 1 million of the same to learners nationwide until 2018.

“Importante nga dunay pagplano sa pamilya, aron dili magbalik-balik ang kalisod sa inyong pamilya (It is important to have family planning, so that poverty would not repeat itself in the family),” Duterte said.

She also urged parents to keep their children away from bad elements.

Unang-una na dinha ang kriminalidad. Ikaduha, naa dinha ang droga. Kaning duha makadaot sa kaugmaon sa mga anak ninyo ug makadaot pod og pamilya (Firstly, crimes are there. Secondly, drugs would also be there. These two can destroy you and your family),” Duterte added.

The program was simultaneously launched in OVP satellite offices in Davao, Zamboanga, Surigao, Tacloban, Bacolod, Dagupan, Isabela, Bicol Region and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and at the extension office in Lipa City, Batangas.

Duterte’s office also partnered with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as it aims to plant at least 1 million trees all over the country.

In a social media post, Mandaue Mayor Jonas Cortes thanked Duterte for choosing the students in his city and committed to support the initiative. (PNA)