The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) supports the “One Million Lapis” project launched by the Council for Welfare of Children (CWC) in celebration of the National Children’s Month in November 2016. “Lapis” is a symbolic representation of the child’s needs to express one’s ideas and feelings.
The project is a partnership of the national government led by the CWC and the Department of Education (DepEd) together with business establishments such as SM Supermalls and National Bookstore.
It aims to collect a million of pencils to be given to underprivileged students in elementary schools around the country who lack the opportunity to pursue schooling and necessary materials for writing. The campaign is envisioned to enter the Guinness World Record this year for the longest line of pencils.
A documentary report in 2012 reveals that in far-flung villages, some elementary students divide one pencil into three to be able to write and learn. This shows the lack of materials for writing compounded with inadequate school facilities and the long distance of travel from home to school.
“The Department as one of the lead advocates of building a ‘Child-Sensitive and Child-Friendly Society’ through a mandatory audit system called the Child-Friendly Local Governance Audit (CFLGA), puts premium in promoting children’s rights to education especially for children whose socioeconomic situations have impeded their chances to go to school,” said DILG Secretary Mel Senen S. Sarmiento.
As a manifestation of support to the project, a drop box for donation of new or old pencils has already been placed at the DILG Central Office lobby which will be there until the end of October. Other One Million Lapis drop boxes are installed in national government agencies, their regional offices, and SM Supermalls.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) committed to transport the collected lapis from origin of drop boxes location to the One Million Lapis storage in the DepEd Central Office in Pasig City.
The final counting and official declaration of the number of lapis generated will be on November 05, 2016 as a kick-off activity of the 2016 National Children's Month celebration.