VP Duterte commits to working alongside Marcos for national dev't

True to their message of unity during the May national elections campaign, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte on Monday, July 25, promised to work with her running-mate, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., in the realization of his administration’s development agenda which he discussed during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Vice President Sara Duterte wears a Bagobo Tagabawa traditional dress at the opening session of the 19th Congress ahead of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.s’ first SONA on Monday, July 25, 2022. (Photo from Albay Rep. Joey Salceda via Facebook)

In her reaction to the President’s SONA, the Vice President lauded the current administration’s direction in continuing the gains of her father’s governance.

“As Vice President and Secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd), the nation can expect my 100 percent commitment to the achievement of the plans and programs that both offices have framed for the sectors that we serve,” she said, adding that she will ensure that the interest and welfare of Filipinos “will come first before everything else.”

As education chief, Duterte shared that she will implement the long-term remedy detailed by the Basic Education Development Plan 2030 (BEDP 2030) of the previous administration, which meant the DepEd needs to collaborate with the national government, local government units, local communities, the private sector, and international partners “to pool resources to increase investments in education that will benefit the entire education sector, particularly our learners.”

READ: ‘Horror’ on educational materials ‘must end’—Marcos

In her capacity as Vice President, she will soon roll out social services programs for women and members of the LGBTQ+ sectors.

The programs will provide economic opportunities to these sectors through the “Mag-Negosyo Ta ‘Day,” an initiative she initiated during her time as Davao City mayor.

“It’s encouraging that President Marcos sees the importance of OVP programs that seek to address the needs of marginalized individuals, groups, sectors, and communities,” she said.

Duterte admitted that pulling the Filipinos out of the clutches of the Covid-19 pandemic will be difficult and the “days coming will be daunting for the administration of President Marcos and the Filipinos.”

“But the nation, the Filipino people, is behind the President and his government,” she said.

“There is nothing that we cannot surmount if we continue to work together, united in our desire to see that the Philippines become a stronger nation,” the Vice President added.

READ: Marcos vows: ‘No more lockdown’; improved healthcare system eyed

Meanwhile, she also congratulated Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin Romualdez and Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri in their election as House Speaker and Senate President, respectively.

“Speaker Romualdez is a lawmaker tested by time. His experience representing the people of Leyte over the years gives me the confidence he will aggressively pursue a people-centered Congress,” she said.

She expressed hope that Romualdez, the President’s cousin, can consolidate support for Marcos’ development agenda.

Duterte commended Zubiri’s “compassionate, creative, and collaborative way of working.”

“I do not doubt that the 19th Senate of the Philippines will work together to support the President’s development agenda,” she said.

The joint session of the Upper and Lower Houses during the opening session of the 19th Congress elected the Senate President, House Speaker, and other officers.

Marcos delivered his SONA before a jam-packed plenary hall, the first time in two years that the SONA was delivered in a full face-to-face setting.