Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. yesterday stressed the value of education and encouraged elementary and high school students from various indigenous peoples (IP) communities in the province to study hard to assure their families of a brighter future.
"Education is the key. Good education is our answer to the pressing poverty in our country," Maranon said.
The governor was joined by more than 200 Ati and Ata folk from the IP areas of Calatrava, Don Salvador Benedicto, Sagay City, Cadiz City, Isabela, Himamaylan City and Toboso at the Capitol Social Hall, where he released about P549,000in financial aid for 86 secondary and elementary students.
Also at the program were SP Member Salvador Escalante, chair of the NegOcc SP Sangguniang Panlalawigan Committee on Finance, and Negros Occidental Scholarship Program (NOSP) Division and concurrent PIO head Karen Dinsay.
There are so many opportunities in the province today for carpenters, electricians, skilled workers because of the construction boom, Maranon said, adding that employment openings also abound in the IT-BPO sector where some IPs have already been hired.
"You have to be diligent in your studies," he said, citing the rare opportunity of another IP student Darlyn Rebatado Blancia, who is one of the 10 Negrenses leaving for Japan next month on a three-year grant to study advanced Japanese language and general health that will cost about P1 million a year.
“Some of you already completed their college education and graduated cum laude, proof that even those in the IP sector will enjoy equal opportunities if given a break,” he said.
He also cited the case of another Ata from Barangay Puey, Sagay City, Femia Cervantes-Sotes, who is now employed at the Capitol-owned Negros First Ranch in Murcia town.*
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