President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday urged members of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) help him fight “evils” such as illegal drugs and criminality as he assumed his post as Chief Scout.
Through traditional investiture rites, Duterte, wearing a boy scout uniform, took the post vacated by his predecessor, former President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
In his speech during the investiture ceremony in Malacañang, the President said the government sees the formation of the Filipino youth “as a vital tool in nation-building.”
“This movement is crucial in today’s times. Corruption, illegal drugs, and criminality continue to destroy the foundations of our country. With the BSP’s help, the scouting movement can be harnessed as a powerful instrument to fight these evils through character formation,” he added.
“What becomes of today’s youth will determine what becomes of our country in the future,” he said.
Duterte commended the Boy Scouts of the Philippines “for joining our efforts to develop our boy scouts and girl scouts to become proactive and law-abiding citizens.”
“The organization has taught them self-reliance, discipline and scouting movement. It is also inculcated among them the values of [civic]consciousness and courage and love for country,” he said.
The President then expressed confidence that the BSP will remain the government’s “partners for change.”
“Together, we passionately serve the Filipino people with the highest ethical and moral standards. I call upon the members of this august organization to help uphold the Scout Oath and Law and let us continue to pursue and aspire for what is right, good and just,” he said.
Duterte is the seventh President to become Chief Scout, starting from the late President Ferdinand Marcos in 1974.
The BSP, with more than two million members, is the biggest uniformed youth organization in the country and is considered one of the biggest groups in the world.
The investiture ceremony was attended by National Executive Board led by BSP national president Wendel Avisado and National Office Staff chaired by Acting Secretary General Rogelio Villa Jr.