VP Japan visit fruitful

Vice President Sara Z. Duterte’s visit to Japan as the Philippines’ Special Envoy to the state funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has turned into a working visit following several education -related activities during her stay in Japan.

Duterte — who is also Department of Education secretary — met with officials from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology where they exchanged views on blended learning, and values and skill formation, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or STEM education and Covid-19 response.

The Vice President was joined by Grade 9 student Trix and her mother Jen from Dinalupihan, Bataan, to join her in her official activities in Japan as part of the “You Can Be VP” project of the Office of the Vice President to inspire learners to “dream big and aim high.”

Duterte also met with several Japanese officials, including Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and some members of the Filipino community.

In other developments, the Office of the Vice President disclosed that it is now in talks with the Government Service Insurance System for the possible acquisition of the Coconut Palace.

During the Senate finance committee hearing on the Office of the Vice President’s proposed P2.3-billion budget for 2023, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III asked if the OVP already identified the lot that it will acquire for its permanent home as he noticed that there is a P10-million allotment for land acquisition.

“Right now, we are talking to GSIS regarding the properties under them that can be donated or sold to the Office of the Vice President as a permanent property of the Office of the Vice President,” Duterte said.

“We are looking at one property only and that is the Coconut Palace, but there is no amount yet identified or given by GSIS but we are still looking at other properties as well of the government that can be used or given to the Office of the Vice President for a permanent office,” she added.

Duterte stressed that the P10-million proposed allocation under the 2023 budget is for the preparation of a possible down payment to secure a contract.

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