By Raymund Antonio

Remembering her husband’s untimely passing, Vice President Leni Robredo will lead a program of activities this month to commemorate the 7th death anniversary of former Interior secretary and longtime Naga mayor Jesse Robredo.

Jesse Robredo

Late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

A nationwide reading of comics and launch of a youth grant competition, donation drive, and Gawad Jesse M. Robredo Award will mark Jesse’s death anniversary.

The Jesse M. Robredo Foundation and its partners organized these various activities in line with remembering the life and works of Jesse, which will be done throughout the month of August.

On Aug. 15, the Vice President will lead the media launch at the Quezon City Reception House, where she holds office.

“Kickstarting the lineup of activities is the launch of the second run of Be Like Jesse youth grant competition,” a statement sent to reporters covering the Office of the Vice President said.

In its last year’s launch, Be Like Jesse has granted partial funding for three youth projects in the Philippines, but according to the OVP, JMRF will be giving project grants this time to “five youth-led projects before September ends.”

As part of the third run of the Young Leaders for Good Governance Fellowship program, the foundation will once again bring local officials to Jesse’s hometown of Naga City for a site visit from Aug. 15-17.

“Through this, the fellows will hear stories from the former mayor’s colleagues and constituents about how he transformed Naga and learn how they can adopt these reforms in their respective local government units,” it said.

Jesse was known for his “tsinelas leadership” when he served as Naga city mayor for two decades and even when he was a Cabinet member of the previous Aquino administration.

He was secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government when he died in a plane crash in Masbate on Aug. 18, 2012.

Alongside this, volunteers will also hold the simultaneous nationwide reading of the comics, “Nay, Ano Ang Bayani” featuring the life of Jesse to children in various schools and communities on Aug. 16.

Other activities include the launch of Lakbay Pangarap, a donation drive by the JMRF to bring 30 urban poor children to Kidzania on Aug. 20; unveiling of a school library at the Candon South Central School on Aug. 30; and launch of the Gawad Jesse M. Robredo Award.