SAN FERNANDO CITY — The Department of Education (DepEd) Regional Office 1 has signed an agreement with World Vision Philippines for the implementation of the Brigada Pagbasa program in Region 1.

            The agreement seeks to explore collaboration on possible support from each other’s organization, based on each institution’s capacity in implementing and sustaining the project, as well as to promote interest in the literacy program among children and young adults, parents, teachers, and other stakeholders.

            The partnership is aligned with Reading First for Region One program, DepEd RO1’s response to Hamon: Bawat Bata Bumabasa.

            DepEd Undersecretary Tonisito M.C. Umali, Esq. said the partnership would be of great help to promote functional literacy across schools in Region 1.

            “For every 100 Filipinos, six are functionally illiterate. We are, indeed, in a battle against illiteracy,” Umali said as he discussed data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

            Umali likened the fight against illiteracy to the Battle of Mactan where Lapu-Lapu emerged victorious 500 years ago.

            “We should be like Lapu-Lapu. We should do our best to win this fight,” Umali added.

            DepEd Region 1 Director Tolentino G. Aquino, on the other hand, put forth the idea of collaborating with Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs) to come up with a subject on literacy instruction.

            “We are currently negotiating with TEIs for them to include in their curriculum the teaching of beginning reading in order to prepare would-be teachers to the battlefield,” Aquino said.

            Executive Director Rommel V. Villafuerte of World Vision Development Foundation, Inc., said,DepEd Region 1 and World Vision Development Foundation have been brought together by a shared vision of helping the lives of the most vulnerable children through the Brigada Pagbasa program.”

            Brigada Pagbasa Program Director Geomel P. Jetonzo acknowledged the support of DepEd Region 1 in advancing the goals of World Vision Philippines.

            “We can make every child a reader through our partnership,” Jetonzo said.

            Arlene A. Niro, chief of the Curriculum and Learning Management Division of DepEd RO1, thanked World Vision Philippines for being a partner of DepEd in responding to the challenge of Bawat Bata Bumabasa.

            “No pandemic can stop us from doing our job. We can make this happen because we have World Vision as our partner,” Niro said.

            Regional English Supervisor Johnson P. Sunga and Regional Filipino Supervisor Arabella May Z. Soniega witnessed the event. Both Sunga and Soniega are the proponents of Reading First for Region One program.

            The partnership was facilitated by Darius N. Nieto, project development officer of DepEd RO1. 

By: Johnson P. Sunga, Curriculum and Learning Management Division