DAVAO CITY – Mayor Rodrigo Duterte asked 820 scholars from the government’s Scholarship on Tertiary Education Program (STEP) to use their education properly when they become leaders in the future and to remember that taxpayers’ money is paying for their education.
STEP is a City Government of Davao initiated scholarship program for the underprivileged but deserving youth of Davao.
“Even before you were born, I have been the mayor. That scholarship is from the heart and has no hint of politics. There was never a time that you were approached to respond in kind because of the scholarship that you were given,” he told scholars during the Pahalipay celebration honoring them.
“Someday, some of you will be leaders asking questions about how this country is run,” he said.
“I have succeeded at times, and I have failed at times,” the mayor said, adding that government service requires making informed decisions.
“Use your education to respond to whatever you face in life,” he said.
Duterte cited the handling of the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) as an example, explaining that “someone must pay” for lapses in governance.
Some 200 families who had survived typhoon Yolanda and who were staying in the city with relatives were also invited to the Pahalipay.
Duterte said that he does not blame either President Benigno S. Aquino III or Local Governments secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas, but said someone must be held accountable. He lamented the national government’s slow response to the calamity that was “already staring them eyeball to eyeball.”
He said he was sure that President Aquino and Roxas were advised before they made calls on the ground. “I’m sure they have already thought about things,” he said, citing his own decision-making policy of asking the city legal office for advice first before dishing out his executive powers. (MindaNews)