Opening of classes in Iligan, Lanao del Norte unhampered – DepEd-10 chief

Amid rumors to postpone the opening of classes in this city and Lanao del Norte due to the Marawi crisis, Regional Director Allan G. Farnazo of the Department of Education (DepEd)-10 has clarified that the classes of all public schools in the area officially began on June 5.

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Director Farnazo together with Schools Division Superintendent Randolph Tortola visited the different schools here yesterday to see for themselves the opening of classes and the condition of the internally displaced learners at the evacuation centers.

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“We went to the different schools in region 10. In fact, we reached as far as Pantar in Lanao del Norte, which is just eight kilometers away from Marawi City, and we saw they were holding classes there, Farnazo said.

“In Pantar they’re having an inventory of 156 Grade 11 students, and we found them already enrolled. One hundred thirty-one of them were present when visited there,” Farnazo added.

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Farnazo reiterated the commitment aired by Education Secretary Leonor Briones to provide transportation allowance for Marawi teachers who would come to Iligan to teach internally displaced learners.

“There should be no compromises for education. Whatever is happening somewhere or wherever, we cannot sacrifice education, otherwise we will complement the problem if we will not make the children better educated,” Farnazo concluded. (lvgabule/PIA Iligan & Lanao del Norte)



Feature: A speck of hope: A community’s dream is coming true

Sitio Kiranggol, Barangay Dao, is roughly a 6-hour open-trail climb into the rain forests of San Fernando.


The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), together with the Department of Education (DepED) and National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), led the joint site validation of a proposed 3-classroom school building to be constructed through the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services – National Community Driven Development (Kalahi CIDSS-NCDDP). This is part of the Whole of Nation Initiative intervention for Lumads in El Niño affected areas, particularly in the Province of Bukidnon.

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Kiranggol (Kiranggel) means a “place of convergence” where other tribes meet to do trade or festivities according to Alde “Botsoy” Salusad, the sitio’s peace keeper and whose family ancestry claims the land.


San Fernando, Bukidnon is home to two indigenous tribes namely the Matigsalugs and Tigwahanons.


Kiranggol has been reportedly marred by past insurgent influences and gold mining. According to residents, the sitio used to have a lot of residents and mine workers – chaos then escalated which drove out the residents and workers but a few came back to the community.


In a conversation with “Commander Botsoy,” he said that the community that now thrives in Kiranggol has only been around for three years. However, the young community already boosts some businesses in the area despite the fact that the sitio is only accessible by trekking through open-mountain-trail – and only by humans. Even horses would have a difficult time traversing the cliffs and the steep peaks.

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In Kiranggol, there are sari-sari stores, a karinderya (food house), billiard halls and karaoke houses. Supplies are brought to the place by “haulers” and usually one hauler can carry about a 50 kilogram load at the very least – and will charge about 500 pesos to a thousand (or more) depending on the load. With this, one could expect the higher prices of the commodities just like the 1.5 liter softdrink would that costs P150.


The place is powered by electricity generators or dynamos where people religiously switch on the lights at 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m.  to 6:00 a.m. The community pays about P10 per day for the community electricity while some residents have their own electricity generators.


About two kilometers before reaching Kiranggol, there is also a spot they fondly call as “signalan” or a place with mobile network signal. There, trekkers may stop and rest as well as text or call as this is the only place with mobile network connectivity along the 6-hour walk.

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As the team trekked the treacherous trails, DSWD 10 regional community infrastructure specialist engineer Roel Jumao-as spoke with the team on the possibilities of successfully hauling materials when the actual construction of the school building will start. To haul a bag of cement would actually cost around P500 each.


However, Jumao-as is both hopeful and determined on the situation saying, “Kung mabuhat nato ning school-building diri sa Kiranggol, wala’y rason nga dili nato mabuhat sa ubang dapit (If we can build the school-building here in Kiranggol, there’s no reason that we can’t make it in other areas).”


The Dreamers


DSWD – Kalahi CIDSS-NCDDP embraced a warm welcome from the Lumad children of Sitio Kiranggol during the site validation for the construction of a three-classroom school building in the sitio. Kiranggol parents and children alike were delighted to know of the project and have high hopes that their community can now have formal education in their sitio.

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Mitze Antian, Grade 3; Nistle Genlisa Mae Baculao, Grade 4; and Roseann Antian, Grade 4, are pupils of Dao Elementary School in Barangay Dao, San Fernando, Bukidnon. The three dreams of becoming a doctor, a police officer and a teacher respectively.


The grueling five-hour mountain trek to their school makes it difficult for them to dream big. However, they are given renewed hope and vigor to pursue their dreams as the DSWD’s Kalahi CIDSS-NCDDP will construct a three-classroom school building in the sitio. Kiranggol can now have formal education in their sitio.


Mitze says “makabalo na ko magsulat, magbasa, ganahan ko nga naa’y eskwelahan diri sa duol, para makalampus sa pag-eskwela ug mahimong doktor (I can now learn to write, read, I like the idea that there will be a school near here so that I can finish my studies and become a doctor).”


Roseann hopes to become a teacher saying, “Para makatabang ko sa pamilya ug sa komunidad (So I can help my family and the community).”


Nistle said, “Nalipay ko nga di na malayo sa among balay ang eskwelahan, gusto ko makahuman ug mahimong pulis, akong uyu-an kay pulis (I’m happy that our school won’t have to be far from our house, I want to finish and become a police officer, my uncle is a police officer).”

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Mira Ombo is a parent of four children; Ling-ling who is now in grade 4, Ian in Grade 1, while Anelyn and Mayan, are in daycare.


Mira says that her main sources of livelihood are “magtanom ug kamote, lutya, ug uban pa, usahay manglampas (planting crops like sweet potato and yautia, and others, sometimes I mow fields).”


Mira also is delighted with the construction of the school building, “maayo kaayo nga naa na’y eskwelahan, nalipay ko, makaayo kini para sa mga kabataan, dili na namo ipadala sa sentro sa Dao ang mga bata para lang maka-eskwela kay naa na diri (this is good that there will be a school, I’m happy. This will be good for the children since we don’t have to send our children down to Dao just to go to school because we’ll have our own here).”


Story of Botsoy


Having read stories about Commander Alde “Botsoy” Salusad tells of a horrifying past. However, a completely different man during the visit gave one that is far from the stories one could have probably read.

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Conversations with residents gave another picture of Botsoy, one resident narrates a tale when Botsoy spent an almost sleepless night fixing the leaking water pipes on their water system only to be awaken the next morning seeing the pipes chopped by a drunk person. Instead of showing rage, Botsoy asked the culprit to pay a tribute of a dozen chickens and fix the pipes again.


Botsoy narrated the origin of the name Kiranggol, saying that it was also known as “Maupya” meaning “good” because the early settlers were good people.


Botsoy addressed his fellow Lumads during the site validation and sitio assembly, “Kini na gyud ang katumanan nga atong ipangandoy sa mga bata nga matukuran na gyud ta’g pormal nga eskwelahan diri, gikan sa kalisud nato, pag-NPA nato sa una, pagsurrender nato- mao kini akong pangandoy nga ma-edukar kita, dili nata magsugot nga dili kita ma-edukar (This will be the fulfillment of our dream for the children that there will be a formal school here, from our hardships, when we were still with the NPA until our surrender, this is what I dreamed of, that we will be educated, we won’t allow that we won’t be educated).”


Botsoy continued, “Tungod kay ang mga Lumad wala na-edukar, pirme gyud mailad sa mga daotang elemento, gamay ra nga mga pasalig madala dayon sa mga dautan nga idolohiya, mao nang pangandoy nato nga ma-edukar gyud ang mga Lumad (because Lumads are not educated, we are always prone to bad elements, with just a little promise – we get carried away with bad ideology, that’s why I dream that Lumads will be educated).”


Botsoy is thankful for the upcoming construction of the school building, “magpasalamat ta nangingkamot ang gobyerno nga tukuran gyud ta’g eskwelahan diri, priority kita (we are thankful the government endeavored to build us a school here, we are a priority).”


Sitio Kiranggol chairman Listino Licawan also enthused “kitang tanan magpasalamat kay niabot sila diri sa Sitio Kiranggol, bisan tuod ug layo, mao na siguro kini ang katumanan sa atong mga pangandoy alang sa atong mga kabataan, kinahanglan kitang tanan magtinabangay ug maghiusa para duna’y katumanan sa atong pangandoy (we should be thankful that they arrived here in Sitio Kiranggol, though it is far, perhaps this will be the realization of our dream for our children, we must all help out and unite to accomplish this dream).”


“Kinihanglan nga atong dasigon ang atong pagpa-eskwela sa atong mga anak, kay mao ra’y bugtong nga pangandoy nato para sa atong mga anak, ug labi ang mga ginikanan, akong dasigon nga ma-edukar gyud ang mga anak (we need to encourage our children to go to school, this is the only dream we can have for our children, and to the parents, I encourage you to have your children educated),” concludes Botsoy.(Shaun Y. Uy/PIA10)

DOH, DEPED, DILG join efforts in National School Deworming Day

The Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd), and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) region 10 join forces and work together for the simultaneous National School Deworming Day (NSDD) on 27 January 2016 in all public schools in the country.

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During a press conference hosted by DOH on 25 January 2016, Dr. Jocelyn Torrecampo, DOH development officer of Cagayan de oro City and El Salvador said that the NSDD on 27 January 2016 is an implementation of the semi-annual simultaneous nationwide deworming to school children in public schools and is also a follow up of the same activity on July of last year.

DOH will conduct school based deworming through the assistance of DepEd and community based deworming through the DILG. School children with ages 5-12 years old will be provided Albendazole 400mg in their respective schools while those one to four years old and out of school children will be given dewroming tablet in their respective city or municipal health centers.

Dr. Josephine Ibalio, Regional Vector Borne Disease coordinator of the Department of Health (DOH) region 10 said that those who are out of school children from 5-12 years old are still covered in the deworming program through their community health centers from January to February this year.

Meanwhile, Dr. Ellen Santua, development management officer of Department of Health (DOH) Misamis Oriental encouraged dissemination of right information about the deworming program. She says not to panic if children will feel abdominal pain since this is one of the normal side effects of taking a deworming tablet. She adds to make sure schoolchildren takes their breakfast prior to deworming.

According to Dr. Mark Meso, medical officer of DepEd Cagayan de Oro, teachers have been instructed about the guidelines on the implementation of the deworming. Teacher’s planning and workshops started as early as January 8 up to January 22. The DepEd have also coordinated the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) presidents to help the teachers in making sure their children have taken full meal before going to school for deworming.

A total of 19,000 school children in public schools in Cagayan de Oro City will be given the deworming tablet on the NSDD on 27 January.

DOH and DepEd have strictly enforced that the pupils should have permissions to their parents prior to the deworming day. This enforcement is strictly implemented so that the children already have the consent of their parents.

There will be a free feeding program for the public schools before the deworming time that is shouldered by the PTA and the DepEd. Donations are very welcome but the DepEd and DOH suggest that donations should be of that of raw ingredients for the rice soup or commonly known as ‘Arroz Caldo’.

Although this is participated by all public schools nationwide, the kick-off in Cagayan de Oro is at the Fr. William F. Masterson, SJ Elementary School, formerly KM 5 Elementary School, located at Xavier Heights, Upper Balulang. The taking of the tablet will happen at exactly 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. for the afternoon classes.

Meanwhile, Dr. Rachel Daba-Dilla, city health officer of Cagayan de Oro City during the National School Deworming Day press conference on 25 January 2016 says that private schools can avail the free Albendazol, used for deworming children, by simply writing a request letter to the City Health office. (Jonathan M. Macas/JMOR/PIA10)

All set for 2nd National School Deworming Day in MisOr

Preparations are underway for the 2nd National School Deworming Day (NSDD2) in the province of Misamis Oriental.

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The Provincial Health Office (PHO) Misamis Oriental in partnership with the Division of Misamis Oriental of the Department of Education (DepEd) will conduct series of orientation on harmonized schedule and combined mass drug administration for selected neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), for second round of NSDD2 to all DepEd elementary and secondary nurses with elementary extension schools and elementary school clinic teachers to be held in Cagayan de Oro City.

With its successful NSDD Day last July 29, 2015, the Department of Health (DOH), in coordination with DepEd through the Health and Nutrition Center (HNC), will have its second round of NSDD on January 27.


NSDD targets to increase the number of dewormed school children to guarantee that more children will be free from helminthiasis or parasitism for better health and school performance.

The orientation will be conducted on the following schedule and batches of participants: nurses from Jasaan to Lugait towns (January 7-8), clinic teachers from Opol to Initao (January 14), clinic teachers from Naawan to Lugait (January 15), Nurses from Magsaysay to Balingasag (January 18-19), clinic teachers from Balingoan to Magsaysay (January 20), clinic teachers from Balingasag to Kinoguitan (January 21), and clinic teachers of Claveria, Jasaan, Villanueva, and Tagoloan (January 22).

Meanwhile, PHO MisOr urges all parents to make sure their children from Kinder to Grade Six to be present at school for NSDD2. (Michelle Love R. Hilario/PIA10)


World Teacher’s Day: Recognizing living heroes in educational reforms

Recognizing the vital contribution of Filipino teachers in institutionalizing educational reforms in the country, the Department of Education (DepEd) and its partners celebrated this year’s World Teachers’ Day (WTD) on October 5.

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In Iligan City, the Student Body Council of the Suarez National High School has prepared recognition for their teachers. It was highlighted with giving a special award to each teacher using a sash with a description about the teacher inscribed on it.

Happiness came out with a smile from the teachers with the recognition.

Rose Ann Maquiling-Saavedra, school principal, said they felt it having fun with the description the students have written in the sash, and pinned it to each teacher.

She also said students’ description to each teacher fits in with their roles as catalysts for reform.


My Teacher, My Hero” — this year’s celebration highlighted the integral role of educators as catalysts for reform and the delivery of quality education, said Saavedra.


Teachers were also surprised when the Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) officers treated them with a ‘halo-halo’ (a popular Filipino dessert with mixtures of shaved ice and evaporated milk to which are added various boiled sweet beans, jello and fruits) in the afternoon snacks.

Another treat for the day was a team came from the Studio 9 Saloon owned by Marivic Castillo-Balchin, which handled each teacher free hair cut, spa, cut, coloring, manicure and pedicure.

“I find it a special event for all teachers in today’s recognition, and they deserved this kind of service from the saloon,” said Balchin wherein the saloon shop was closed for the celebration to give the treat to the teachers.

Teachers were also provided with free skin care consultation from a specialist, Dr. Jingky Abragan.

A member of the Rotary Club of Iligan Maria Cristina (RCIMC) likewise brought and gave each teacher a mug.

Meanwhile, Saavedra echoed Education Secretary Armin Luistro, “This year celebration highlighted the integral role of educators as prime movers and catalysts to extend the last mile efforts of DepEd and the K to 12 education reforms for the delivery of quality education.

Further, the revolution in education is a revolution that will change the country and bring about all of the dreams and hopes of our young people. If you want to transform our country, we need living heroes.

President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared September 5 to October 5 every year as National Teachers’ Month (NTM) through Presidential Proclamation No. 242, signed in 2011.

Gingoog, DENR, DepEd push for eco-savers project

Gingoog city, in cooperation with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Department of Education (DepEd) pushes for the piloting of “Eco-savers Project,” a well-designed strategy in augmenting the citywide advocacy in mitigating against the effects of climate change.

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The Eco-savers Program is the city’s innovative recycling scheme which promotes a culture of discipline among the youth through ecological solid waste management.

This promotes to teach children segregation right at home, reinforce the habit in school and environmental concern becomes second nature.

Republic Act 9003 requires the Department of Education to strengthen the integration of environmental concerns in school curricula, with particular emphasis on the theory and practice of resource conservation, recovery, segregation at source, and recycling.

The parties agree to collaborate in the replication of best practices in ecological solid waste management in public elementary and secondary schools in Gingoog city.

DepEd is tapped to educate the students on the importance of environmental conservation and protection as it relates to sustainable development.

DENR has recognized Gingoog as the model city in the implementation of ecological waste management in the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN).

Per Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), the project is not new to Gingoognons since they have already inculcated in their minds and practiced in themselves the value of cleanliness and the essence of the 3R’s—reduce, reuse, recycle.

Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) officer in-charge Marlene Fuentes said this school-based project had already started in the city’s Manuel Lugod Central Elementary School (North Central) in which their teachers had tapped the Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) led by Mark Kho for cohesive implementation.

“Isip pag-implementar sa maong proyekto, nagmug na sila og programa nga ‘Basura Mo, I-Shoot Mo’ diin ipadala kada-Biyernes og recyclable materials ang mga estudyante. Ila kining i-shoot sa usa ka dapit nga gi-isip nilang dulaanan diin ilang i-shoot ang ilang mga basura.  Dayon ilang ibaligya ang mga lata, plastik, botelya ug uban pang ma-kwarta nga basura. Ang halin ilang ipundo sa PTA para sa laing mabulukong proyekto,” said ENRD head.

Mayor Marie Guingona appreciates the act of instilling a culture of environmental awareness among school children, and admires teachers’ commitment for saving our Mother Earth.

In her message, Dr. Myrna Castanosa has acknowledged the unwavering support of the chief executive in highly regarding for the welfare among teachers and students by working together with their agency not only in ecological and environmental concerns but also in other socio-cultural developments.

“Let us continually love and take good care of our nature as we live each day.  We dedicate such commitment for our sake and for our next generations.  This is our planet.  This is our single home”, said Mayor Marie. (Edmar Pabia, Gingoog media bureau)

“No Mindanaoan will be left behind” – Luistro

CAGAYAN DE ORO, July 6 — “Part of the challenge of the K to 12 Program is that no Mindanaoan will be left behind. If Mindanao progresses, the Philippines will progress,” Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro FSC said during the gathering of over 4,000 education stakeholders from Mindanao supporting the education reform.

PIA Northern Mindanao - DepEd Education summit on July 2 CDO

“K to 12 is not just a national educational reform program. This reform was anchored in hopes, dreams and challenges that you in Mindanao faced. It is the time for the educators and stakeholders here to rewrite the story of Mindanao,” Luistro added.

Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon said that the local government of Tagum is committed in the successful implementation of the said education reform, saying, “The success of the K to 12 Program is not just the success of DepEd but also the success of all Filipinos.”

“We, education stakeholders, made it a point that education is not a spending but an investment. K to 12 is an investment for the future,” Rellon added.

Several students from Mindanao shared how the K to 12 Program and their decision to undergo the early implementation of Senior High School changed the course of their lives.

“Isa ako sa magandang bunga ng K to 12 sa pagkakaroon ng magandang training na kailangan ko sa paghahanap-buhay. Nagagamit ko ang mga kasanayang nakamit sa isang tribal school,” said Marian Clarell Bularon, Grade 11, Kling National High School in Sarangani.

Lyn Joy Olana, a Grade 9 indigenous learner from Impasugong National High School in Bukidnon also attested that in K to 12, their cultural knowledge is being recognized and given importance. She added that “the implementation of K to 12 serves as a helping hand for the Indigenous Peoples to boost us to do our best in school.”

Elaine Salar, a mother from Surigao City, lauded the K to 12 Program as his son landed a job as encoder after finishing the program. “Now, I truly believe that K to 12 is a big help to the families, especially the least fortunate families,” Salar said.

“I had a hard time figuring out what would happen to me after fourth year high school. I came from a poor family,” said Marion Sonorio, an SHS graduate of a technical−vocational course from Iligan City National School of Fisheries. He said that, after taking up commercial cooking, he immediately found a job as cook in a local restaurant. Months after, he was promoted as assistant supervisor.

Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno said that he sees a brighter future for the Mindanaoans with the full implementation of the K to 12 Program.(DepEd)