As a sign of support to the Department of Education’s (DepEd) initiative to repair and rehabilitate schools damaged by the armed conflict in Marawi City, R.K. Shimizu (Nagasaki) Foundation, Inc. donated various school furniture on August 25.
The total donation of 3,326 items, which include 1,000 adjustable tables, 990 adjustable chairs, 571 randoseru (firm-sided backpacks), and 114 fixed stand tables, are in the warehouse of the Department of Energy (DOE) and are ready for delivery once clearance from the Department of National Defense (DND) is obtained.
Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones, Undersecretary Alain Del Pascua, Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali, External Partnerships Service (EPS) Director Margarita Ballesteros, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, RKS(N)FI Board of Director Luis Lu, RKS(N)FI Chairman Katsutoshi Shimizu, Governor of Nagasaki Prefecture Houdou Nakamura, and Japan Embassy Minister Atsushi Kuwabara led the turnover ceremony held at the DepEd Central Office.
“Being in school gives [learners] a sense of normalcy, gives them a sense that life is going on. The fact that they go to school at regular hours, the seats and desks, the teachers who help them along, their parents, make them look forward to a world of hope and caring,” Briones said.
Umali highlighted the significance of the ceremony and called the event symbolic, “This turnover ceremony symbolizes a lot of things about friendship between two countries who share a lot of commonalities and history together. This event really shows that, with this kind of friendship and with this kind of partnership, we can do more for our children.”
In giving preview to RKS(N)FI’s rebuilding project, Lu pointed out, “The most that we can do now is to rebuild Marawi. Our vision is to be able to build schools and improve, with Marawi as priority. But we cannot do it alone. We need your help.”
According to Lu, once construction of a school building is finished, RKS(N)FI will turn it over to DepEd. Furniture and other things needed in the classroom will be jointly provided by RKS(N)FI and the Prefecture of Nagasaki. RKS(N)FI also had an agreement with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Engineering Battalion for the latter to provide free service for manpower in the construction of school buildings under the project.
Lu further explained that cement, steel, lumber, plywood, hardware, paint, and electrical supplies are still needed, and asked everyone’s help in achieving the goal of rehabilitating schools Marawi City.
In his message, Shimizu shared that he started the foundation in March 2011 to help improve school facilities in the Philippines. The foundation immediately commenced the construction of school buildings in provinces that served as the route for the Bataan Death March during World War II, in the hopes of helping ease the pain and sorrow felt by the victims and their families.
“This time, our donation will go to Marawi City where it is needed very badly. Why am I doing this? I dream of a beautiful rainbow, with one end in the Philippines and the other end in Japan, [which symbolizes] a beautiful relationship,” Shimizu said.
Since 2011, RKS(N)FI has donated 12 school buildings (three in Batangas; four in Tarlac; two in Bataan; two in Pampanga; and one in Mindoro), equipped with chairs, teachers’ table, television sets, computer sets, comfort rooms, water supply, and Japanese gardens.
For Minister Kuwabara, the donation of RKS(N)FI and the government of Nagasaki Prefecture will greatly improve the learning environment of students in Marawi and bring them hope for a brighter future. He also shared that in July, Japan decided to extend humanitarian grant aid, amounting to $2 million, to support the relief operations for those affected by the Marawi crisis through the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) and the United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Meanwhile, Pascua explained the undertaking of the Department, “Bangon Marawi. Education cannot wait. Education must continue,” as its contribution to the overall national effort of rebuilding Marawi City. The daily response for internally displaced learners—from tracking and accommodating them to addressing their daily needs—is now dubbed as “Tuloy Edukasyon: Tugon sa Marawi.“ Pascua also expounded on the activities, such as Brigada Eskwela, Oplan Balik Eskwela, Adopt-a-School, and Alternative Learning System (ALS), lined up under the massive drive.
Cusi emphasized that more than the physical infrastructure, the bigger challenge in rebuilding Marawi City is the psychological trouble the war has caused, and recognized the role of DepEd in reinstating normalcy, especially among learners. DOE is part of the committee that will address the infrastructure in keeping energy available to schools.
“Whatever is happening—whether there are disturbances, typhoons, earthquakes, battles—education has to continue. We thank the foundation for making contributions to make sure that the children are able to continue the learning process,” Briones said.
Heeding the plight of learners and teachers forced to leave the city and temporarily adopt a different learning environment, DepEd is collaborating with different education partners to give the necessary assistance to learners and teachers and ensure learning continuity. (DepEd)
Duterte Confers ‘Order of Lapu-Lapu’ to 12 Wounded Soldiers
The Davao City Durians continued to dominate in the ongoing Davao Regional Athletic Association (DAVRAA) meet 2018.
In the partial medal tally in the first two days of the sporting events, Durians bagged 14 gold medals, eight silvers and six bronzes in different individual athletic events.
Davao Durians dominated the 800-meter secondary girls, 400-meter Hurdles elementary girls, discuss throw secondary girls, triple jump elementary boys and girls as well as secondary boys.
The Davao City runners also reigned in the 1000-meter secondary girls, 100-meter elementary boys and girls, as well as secondary girls and 100-meter hurdle elementary girls.T hey also took the gold for the long jump elementary boys and secondary boys and Shot put secondary girls. The Durians are followed by Digos City Trekkers with eight gold, five silvers and seven bronzes.
The Davao del Norte Pioneers entered the third spot with six golds, eight silvers and three bronzes followed by Davao Occidental Slashers who got three gold, two silvers and five bronzes.
Tagum City’s Tagumpay earned the fifth spot with three gold, two silvers and two bronzes.
After Tagumpay is the Mati City Eagles with two golds and two silvers. Davao del Sur Cobras took the seventh spot with one gold, four silvers, and bronzes which followed Compostela Valley Gold with one gold, two silvers and a bronze.
The Island Garden City of Samal Wves got one gold, silver and bronze while Panabo City Maganates got five silvers and two bronzes and the Davao Oriental Sunrisers got one silver and three bronzes.
Department of Education (DepEd) XI spokesperson Jenielito Atillo said the winners will undergo rigid training to prepare them for the Palarong Pambansa 2018 which will be held in Vigan, Ilocos Sur.
Atillo said DepEd is hopeful that the Davao Eagles will improve its last year’s number 7 ranking in the Palarong Pambansa.
NHA Okays 12,016 Additional Houses for ‘Yolanda’ Survivors
The National Housing Authority (NHA) has approved at least PHP4 billion funds to build additional 12,016 houses for areas not previously covered by resettlement projects meant for super typhoon Yolanda survivors.
NHA Eastern Visayas Regional Manager Rizalde Mediavillo confirmed on Thursday that more government housing projects will rise in the region, heeding the request of mayors sent to the Regional Development Council last year.
Mediavillo said local government units proposed 15,594 new houses but only 12,016 were approved by the national government to be financed by unspent allocations from the 2016 Yolanda Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program.
“There were proposals to download funds to local government units, but President Rodrigo Duterte directed us to implement the project by contract in accordance with existing procurement rules. The procurement is scheduled starting this first quarter of 2018,” the official said.
Of the 12,016 houses, 9,516 units will rise in Leyte province, which include 1,500 in Dulag town, 1,616 in Leyte, 1,000 in Barugo, 1,000 in Tabontabon, 2,000 in Villaba, 600 in Capoocan, 300 in Dagami, 1,000 in Sta. Fe, and 500 in Javier.
In Samar province, 2,500 new houses will be built in the towns of Talalora (1,000 units), Daram (1,000 houses), and Zumaraga (500 units).
Each resettlement site will have a multi-purpose covered court and training center to support livelihood and other community projects.
The new projects are in addition to the 56,140 permanent houses intended for super typhoon survivors in the entire Eastern Visayas region. Of the total, 14,433 are in Tacloban City, 16,199 in Leyte, 130 in Southern Leyte, 8,900 in Samar, 7,573 in Eastern Samar, and 8,905 in Biliran province.
As of Jan. 31 this year, 13,343 houses have been awarded to beneficiaries, 18,543 are completed, 15,839 are ongoing, and 3,456 are up for bidding. The rest are still under planning stage.
From 2013 to 2017, the NHA got the highest outlay among all agencies involved in post-disaster recovery projects at PHP21.92 billion.
Design parameters for all housing projects conform with the National Building Code, design for socialized and economic housing, and other related laws to make sure that shelters will be able to withstand natural calamities and extreme weather conditions.
Each house has a 40-square meter lot area. It is loftable with a total floor area of 33 square meters with structural improvements following the “Build Back Better Policy” and other guidelines for disaster-resilient housing.
On the reported substandard NHA projects by contractor JC Tayag Builder in Eastern Samar, Mediavillo said all their contracts have been terminated. The project will be awarded to “best contractors” according to him.
Troops Disarm MILF Fighters in Maguindanao
Government forces on Tuesday seized high-powered firearms from members of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for moving around Maguindanao without coordination with local authorities and ceasefire monitors.
According to reports reaching the Army’s 6th Infantry Division based in this camp, heavily armed men on board a mini-cargo truck were seen along a village road in Sultan sa Barongis, Maguindanao.
Soldiers flagged down the vehicle loaded with MILF fighters led by Orly Gampong in Barangay Mileb. The rebels did not resist and peacefully handed over their rifles to elements of the 40th Infantry Battalion.
Under the 1997 government and MILF ceasefire agreement, Moro rebels must coordinate with local military and police authorities when moving from its camps to other areas. The same applies for government forces if it operates in MILF identified areas.
Lt. Col. Gerry Besana, spokesman for the 6th ID-led anti-terror Task Force Central, said Gampong and his armed followers belonged to the MILF’s 106th Base Command.
Besana said the military and police are determining if Gampong’s group was to reinforce its comrades fighting another group of MILF in Abdullah Sangki, Maguindanao.
Fighting had erupted between MILF’s 105th and 106th base command. The seized firearms now in Army custody included 18 M-16 assault rifles, five M-14 assault rifles and an M-203 rifle fitted with a launcher for 40 millimeter grenade projectile.
DepEd Says Senior High School Grads Ready for Work
The Department of Education (DepEd) here assured the public that graduates of the Senior High School (SHS) are “equipped to face the world of work.”
Dr. Lea Belleza, information officer of DepEd Western Visayas, said Tuesday that there are three reasons the Senior High School education system was introduced. She explained that those who can afford can still go to college, or become entrepreneurs given the skills they acquired, or opt to find work.
Graduates of technical and vocational livelihood (TVL) courses are expected to pass the National Competency (NC) assessment of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) so they would be ready to work, Belleza said.
“As to the competency, I assure you that trainings given to our teachers, the provision of instructional materials to our learners and the provision of equipment to our TVL, I firmly believe that we will have the globally competitive graduates for 2018,” she added.
The first batch of Senior High School is expected to graduate April this year.
Meanwhile, Belleza emphasized that graduation rites must be “solemn, simple occasion but meaningful for children.”
She said that their advice is always to observe “austerity measures”, adding, “We don’t want to burden parents of pompous celebration”.
Belleza said that schools have budget for graduation to be taken from the miscellaneous and other operating expenses (MOOE). However, minimal contribution, which should not be imposed on the children, may be accepted, she said.
CEBU WEATHER FORECAST: Feb 24, 2018 | Valid 6:00AM Today to 6:00AM Tomorrow
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