While praising the Cotabateños’ ongoing recovery amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Vice President Sara Duterte on Thursday, Sept. 1, highlighted the need for the recovery to be a “collective journey” of the government and the people.
The Vice President and concurrent Education secretary spoke during North Cotabato’s 108th “Kalivungan” founding anniversary celebration at the grandstand of the provincial capitol.
“Today, you have shown that you are driving the road to recovery. And this should not be a lonely road. This should be a collective journey — our journey together — that even when we face challenges and threats, we do not hover, we do not stop and surrender to fear, to disappointments, to energies and forces that injure or break our spirit as a nation,” she said.
In the 12-minute speech, she spoke about the economic, education and livelihood losses brought about by the pandemic.
“Instead, we go on braver, bolder, and stronger. And we are braver, bolder, and stronger because we have each other,” Duterte added.
Duterte pointed out that the Cotabateños' united solidarity is the foundation for the Kalivungan Festival.
The festival, according to her, is a celebration of the development and the peace across the province.
“At the heart of the Kalivungan Festival is the unity among the people of North Cotabato, who have been emboldened by the unwavering strength that deeply binds them together — never mind the race, never mind the religion and beliefs, never mind the social status,” Duterte said.
“And please allow me to reiterate this — today, more than ever, we should not allow anyone or anything to break us,” she added.
The lady official also took the time to remind Cotabateños not to support communist groups as they want to bring down the government.
“Let us not support terrorists. Let us not support the New People’s Army,” she stressed.
This is Duterte’s second time to attend the Kalivungan Festival, which also gave her the opportunity to express her gratitude for the Cotabateños’ support to her and running mate, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. during the elections.
During the event, Duterte also gave recognition to the 11 groups of performers who showcased the province’s history through traditional dances by gifting them P30,000 per group that they can use in improving their craft in music and the arts.
Prior to the event, she visited the Amas National High School to check on the teachers’ concerns and to personally discuss with them the problems facing the education sector.