By Raymund Antonio
High school boys in Sumilao, Bukidnon may no longer walk up to 13 kilometers daily just to get to school.
Vice President Leni Robredo disclosed her office got a new partner for the construction of a male dormitory for Sumilao male students in a speech Tuesday night at the induction of new set of officers of the Rotary Club of San Fernando La Union, Inc.
Robredo, a former housing chief, said it has been an advocacy of her office to provide quality education to Filipino children by helping them with their needs.
“We are already looking for partners who can support the construction of the male dorm and we are working with the local government of Sumilao to ensure that help is being sustained in the community,” she said.
“Just before I left the office this afternoon, I was told that we already got partners for the male dormitory, so that was a really good news,” Robredo then announced.
The Vice President, however, did not name the private organization interested in partnering with her office for the building construction.
Sumilao is among the beneficiary areas of Angat Buhay, Robredo’s flagship anti-poverty program that links private partners to the poorest and farthest communities across the country.
Just last March, the Office of the Vice President and its partner opened a girls’ dormitory worth P1.2 million for Grade 11 and 12 female students at the Sumilao National High School. The Rotary Club of Makati is the OVP’s partner for the project.
The Angat Buhay interventions in Sumilao came in the wake of the high dropout rate in public schools there. Many high school students dropped out their school because it is very far from their homes.
“In our visits to far-flung communities, we met students who had to cross mountains and rivers just to go to school, waking up extremely early to attend their first class,” Robredo shared.
The Vice President said the story of Sumilao students should serve as a reminder to everyone of their “great task” at hand.
“But more than that, it is an invitation for each one of us to leave the comforts of our own lives, to roll up our sleeves, and walk with the least, the last, and the lost,” she said.