Contributed by Jeffrey Mendoza, PIA – Bataan intern
BALANGA CITY, Bataan – In the capital city of Bataan, the way to freedom is through quality education: increasing scholarships, technology-equipped schools and walkways, and expert teachers.
Balanga City commemorated the 119th Philippine Independence Day, themed Kalayaan 2017: Pagbabagong Sama-samang Balikatin, with a colorful display of dances performed by students yesterday, June 13 at Plaza Mayor.
“Pinagsisikapan po natin na mas mapaganda ang sistema ng edukasyon para sa kinabukasan ng mga kabataan (We are doing our best in order to enhance the quality of education for our children),” Mayor Francis Anthony Garcia said.
The city government has put premium on education for years, with thousands of scholars receiving P6,000 per semester, teachers finishing postgraduate studies through grants, and schools and walkways equipped with WiFi-enabled kiosks.
This emphasis on education has crowned Balanga hall of famer in National Literacy Awards for component city category in 2016.
Garcia also expressed support for President Rodrido Duterte’s fight for a drug-free community, encouraging citizens to be part of a healthy and clean Balanga City.
For Vice Mayor Vianca Gozon, Independence Day is more than the parade, songs, and waving of the national flag. “This day reminds us of our determination to use and practice our freedom and learn to stand alone… Let’s reflect about the true essence of this freedom. Let’s lift each other together as Filipinos,” she said.
Philippine Information Agency-Region 3 Director William Beltran keynoted the celebration, focusing on the power of youth as bringers of progress through their capability to inspire using social media.