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DepEd generates P2B savings from 'Brigada Eskwela'

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DepEd generates P2B savings from 'Brigada Eskwela'
By J. Antonio Rimando (The Philippine Star) Updated January 19, 2012 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Education may not be an income generating agency (like the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Land Transportation Office and Bureau of Customs), but it can initiate nationwide programs and projects which can save the state huge amount of funds.

One such project which has enabled the DepEd to generate annually billions of savings for the government is its “Brigada Eskwela”, which it usually implements before the start of a new school year, in virtually all public elementary and secondary schools in the country.

Education Secretary Armin Luistro explained that “Brigada” is a joint volunteer activity among parents and civic-spirited community officials and inhabitants in performing minor repair work on public school buildings and facilities before the opening of a new school year to prepare the structures for the safe return of enrolling school children.

Luistro said the “Brigada”, also known as the National Schools Maintenance Week (NSMW), also involves civic organization leaders and education stakeholders who donate assorted construction materials — such as lumber, sand and gravel, cement, plywood, paints, hollow blocks, nails, wires, bamboos and GI sheets — for use in the repair of desks, windows, classroom walls, tables, toilets, chairs, ceilings, floors and pathways.

Not a few leaders of local government units (LGUs) and concerned owners of business establishments also contribute cash to the “Brigada” which was initiated by former Education Secretary Edilberto de Jesus who claimed that “the promotion of basic education is the concern of every body.”

Initial summary report as of Dec. 14, 2011 on resources generated during the 2011 “Brigada” released by Merlie Asprer, operations manager of DepEd’s Adopt-A-School Program (ASP) which also handles the “Brigada” project, showed that the agency generated a total savings of P2,019,755,023.67 from its 17 regions broken down to P1,404,507,949.56 in the elementary level and P493,833,974.41 in the high school level.

The statistical report was personally copy-furnished recently to the Philippine STAR by ASP project assistant Romeo A. Granadozin.

The data revealed that Central Luzon (Region 3) submitted the biggest total savings from the week-long “Brigada” with P375,377,174.26 with 868,141 participating volunteer-parents (VPs).

Ilocos (Region 1) secured a saving of P287,331,756.36 and 377,025 VPs to place second followed by Central Visayas (Region 7) which saved P196,026,200.47 with 861,736 VPs and Western Visayas (Region 6) which piled up a saving of P182,504,279.11 with 965,293 VPs.

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