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PIA Press Release

DepEd, Union Bank, soldiers converge to deliver 130,000 books in Davao Region

by Cpt Emmanuel R Garcia (INF)

Camp Apolinario, Panacan, Davao City (29 June) -- The Department of Education (DepEd), Union Bank of the Philippines and the Army's 10th Infantry Infantry Division (10ID) forged a partnership in bringing additional textbooks for elementary pupils in Davao Region in a program coordination held at the DepEd Regional Office in Davao City 10:00 AM today.

Union Bank's Corporate Philanthropy and Social Responsibility (CPSR) Director Maria Gonzalez Goolsby together with its Assistant Vice President for CPSR Mary Margaret Barro outlined Union Bank's Learning System Program while DepEd Region 11 Director Susana Estigoy welcomed the help of the private sector in reaching out to students in the far flung areas. A total of 130,000 volumes of books are slated to be given by Union Bank to DepEd to be distributed to different schools in the region.

Goolsby happily articulated the triad partnership of Union Bank, DepEd and soldiers as a formidable way in eradicating ignorance particularly in less developed places. "Most often, the only government instrumentalities seen by people in far flung areas are teachers and soldiers thus we made it a point to have DepEd and the Armed Forces as partners in our aim to help educate people especially in the countryside as part of Union Bank's Corporate Social Responsibility." Goolsby said.

Soldiers of 10ID represented by Lt. Col. Ferdinand Budeng, commander of 28th Infantry Battalion presented the problem faced by students in the countryside as they are more prone to recruitment by local terrorists particularly of the New People's Army (NPA). Soldiers will be tasked to identify schools in NPA exploited areas which are in dire need of books and will be in charge of delivering them.

Maj. Gen. Carlos Holganza, commander of 10ID welcomed the partnership saying "it is a cornerstone in fighting one of the root causes of the problem which is being capitalized by the NPA in deceiving the people particularly the youth."

"This partnership is a scheme ought to be replicated with other groups in the private sector and other line government agencies. Education is the key to successfully eliminate ignorance and an educated populace will translate to less people being deceived by the NPA." Holganza concluded.

In 2009, a total of 291 NPAs surrendered to 10ID and 13 were minors which is 4.3 percent of the total number of surrenderees while this year a total of 33 have surrendered and four are below the age of 18 which is 12 percent. Based on revelations of former NPAs, more minors are being utilized by the NPA in their terroristic actions against the state.

Schools Superintendents and Supervisors in different places of Region 11 also expressed gladness on the positive development brought by the partnership particularly of Union Bank's commitment to provide much needed help to students in the countryside.

July 15-30 is the delivery week in nine DepEd Region XI Divisions for students' workbook while August 1-15 is the distribution week in all Region XI schools and sections. August 15-30 will be the Program orientation and workshop for Union Bank Learning System Program and September 13 is the simultaneous start of the program implementation. (PA 10th Infantry Division) [top]

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