Office of the Vice President
25 August 2017
Vice President Leni Robredo on Friday underscored anew the critical role of education in addressing poverty in the Philippines, as she urged university students to do well in school to improve, not only their own lives, but also those of their fellow Filipinos.
Speaking before the Students’ Assembly of the Negros Oriental State University (NORSU), VP Leni noted that poverty—the “most crucial” of the problems faced by the country today—may only be addressed by a critical mass of educated citizens.
“In the midst of so much suffering, talagang isa ang pinaka-crucial and that is poverty. Ang dami nating problema—drugs, criminality, etcetera. Pero sa likod ng mukha ng lahat ng ating problema, kahirapan pa rin ang pinakadahilan. And education is the ultimate game-changer. Ang education, siya ang mag-e-equalize ng lahat ng hindi pagkakapantay-pantay,” she said.
The Vice President, who was invited to the event to talk about inclusivity in education, reiterated that those who are educated must pay forward this “privilege” by helping others.
“All around us now, there is so much hate. All around us now, nag-aaway-away ang mga tao. But you have to remember, hindi po tayo ang magkakaaway. Ang kaaway po natin ay kahirapan. At kung hindi tayo magkakampi-kampi—lahat naman tayo ay Pilipino—hindi natin malalabanan ang kahirapan,” she said.
“Your education is your right, but it is also a privilege. Ang pagiging estudyante ninyo sa only state university in Negros Oriental is a privilege that is given to you. And in parting, sana po hindi natin sayangin ang regalong ito. Hindi lang sa pag-aaral nang maayos at pag-aangat ng sarili nating pamilya, but paying it forward,” she added.
VP Leni also pointed out the importance of ensuring that the poorest get access to quality education as well.
This, she said, must be combined with the assurance that this education will immediately lead to jobs.
This is an initiative currently being undertaken by the Office of the Vice President’s “Angat Buhay” anti-poverty program, which aims not only to support the government’s K-12 program, but also link partner universities with private companies that will hire their students after graduation.
VP Leni is in Dumaguete City for a two-day visit, where she will attend several events, including the opening of the Istorya ng Pag-asa photo gallery at Silliman University.