• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
In her third visit to Negros Occidental after being elected as the second highest official of the country, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte yesterday brought her anti-insurgency and pro-education campaign to migrant sugarcane workers.
During a visit to La Castellana, Negros Occidental, Duterte, the co-vice chairperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), was welcomed by about 5,000 migrant sugarcane workers and said it gave her an opportunity to campaign against the NPA, who have still remnants in Negros Island.
Duterte was accompanied by Antique Gov. Rhodora Cadiao, who annually visits Antiqueño sacadas working in haciendas in Negros Occidental, to check on their conditions.
Cadiao earlier said that the “Bisita Sacada” initiative aligns with Duterte’s mandate as co-vice chairperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, noting that Antiqueño sacadas are vulnerable to recruitment by the NPA.
Duterte, who assisted Gov. Cadiao in the distribution of Christmas gifts to the migrant sugarcane workers from Antique, also pushed her advocacy on the importance of education as key to ending the cycle of poverty, how it can transform one’s living conditions, and become part of nation-building.
The Vice President also paid a courtesy call to Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer, who brought her to Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson for a visit.
Ferrer said he was “very honored” to be visited by the Vice President, for the first time in his office at the Provincial Capitol in Bacolod City.
In an interview at the Governor’s Office, Duterte said she visited Negros Occidental to bring the message of education and peace, as well as to thank Negrenses for their support during the 2022 national elections.
“I am very thankful to the people of Negros Occidental for their support and the vote, and support for the Department of Education,” she said.
Duterte also thanked the services and sacrifices of teachers, who wanted to ensure the better future of students.*