In a bid to alleviate plight of students from far-flung areas in Sumilao
VP Leni’s office, partners open dormitory for poor high school students in Sumilao, Bukidnon

Vice President Leni Robredo led the turnover of a dormitory that will serve as a halfway house for the students of Sumilao National High School in Bukidnon, in a bid to alleviate the plight of underprivileged students coming from the poorest and farthest barangays in the municipality. 

VP Leni visited Sumilao anew to open the dormitory that will cater to Grades 11 and 12 female students who travel as far as 13 kilometers by foot just to go to school. 

The Vice President herself led the turnover of the girls’ dormitory, along with Mayor Jose Antonio “Sonny” Villo of Sumilao, other local officials present in the ceremony at the annex building of the national high school in Barangay Vista Villa on Thursday, Mar. 14, 2019. 

The P1.2-million construction of the dormitory was made possible through the sponsorship from Rotary Club of Makati, a partner of VP Leni’s office under its flagship anti-poverty program Angat Buhay. 

Speaking before the faculty and students of Sumilao National High School, VP Leni said that even when she was still a lawyer, Sumilao has always been close to her heart. 

“Mula po noong abogado pa lang ako, noong nag-congressman ako, saka noong nag-vice president na ako, talaga pong malapit sa puso ko iyong bayan niyo,” she said in her message. 

As a public interest lawyer, VP Leni worked with the Sumilao farmers in their fight for their land. It may be recalled that in 2016, Sumilao farmers marched from Bukidnon to Manila to show support for the then Camarines Sur congresswoman’s candidacy. 

She then mentioned the previous interventions the Office of the Vice President initiated in Sumilao, including the construction of school buildings and classrooms in different barangays. 

“Panaginip po ni Mayor na magdala ng dormitory dito sa inyo dahil alam po natin kung gaano kalalayo iyong mga inuuwian ng mga estudyante,” VP Leni said.

“Kaya hopefully, dahil po sa dormitory na ito, mag-improve iyong ating participation rate [at bumaba] iyong dropout rate,” she added. 

VP Leni’s office will also look into finding partners that can sponsor the construction of another dormitory for male high school students. 

Also in Sumilao, VP Leni visited a farm in Barangay Puntian and to lead the distribution of carabaos, farm inputs, and tools to support organic vegetable farmers from 10 barangays in the municipality. The assistance came from the Office of the Vice President, under its locally funded projects worth P1.9 million.

The farmers were among those who graduated from the Integrated Farming Bio-System (IFBS) training conducted by the Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc.—also an Angat Buhay partner—which taught the farmers to practice organic farming at low-cost.

VP Leni also made a stop in Cagayan de Oro City to speak with members of different sectors participating in the Ahon Laylayan Koalisyon planning session to help them formulate their People’s Agenda for their respective sectors. 

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