CAVITE CITY, May 17, 2019 – The Department of Education (DepEd) officially kicked off the 16th Brigada Eskwela, with the theme “Matatag na Bayan para sa Maunlad na Paaralan,” on May 16 at Alfonso Central School in Alfonso, Cavite.

More than 1,000 DepEd key officials from the Central, Regional, and Division offices and stakeholders from national government agencies and local government units of Cavite, private sector partners, and various members of the community gathered in the national kickoff and caravan to express their commitment to the annual activity.

Represented by Undersecretary for Finance Service and Education Programs Delivery Unit Annalyn Sevilla, DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones stated that there has never been a lack of support for the education sector.

“After all, education is not the business of DepEd alone. It is the responsibility of our communities; it is a national responsibility,” the Education chief underscored.

In the same message, the Secretary noted that the number of volunteers ballooned from 11 million in 2017 to 22 million in 2018, which proves that Brigada Eskwela brings out the best in Filipinos, and that the spirit of bayanihan is still very much alive as communities ensure that Filipino learners will have a clean, safe, and conducive learning environment during the first day of classes.

  • PHOTO 1: DepEd officially kicked off the 16th Brigada Eskwela theme "Matatag na Bayan para sa Maunlad na Paaralan," on May 16 at Alfonso Central School in Alfonso, Cavite.

Brigada Eskwela now is more than just cleaning. It has more targets like bringing back our out-of-school students to classroom,” Undersecretary for Legislative Affairs, External Partnerships, and Project Management Service Tonisito Umali, Esq. mentioned, emphasizing how the Department, in cooperation with various stakeholders, has escalated the implementation of Brigada Eskwela over the years.

Umali also added that the Brigada effort must not be a one-shot, week-long activity, but shall run for a “lifetime” so as to sustain the levelling up of the program’s implementation.

The national kickoff also featured advocacy campaign and orientations, and skills training. The event also emphasized the spirit of camaraderie and showcased the festivity of Filipino traditions through a Pista sa Bayan. The event also intensified the no single-use plastic advocacy by distributing reusable water tumblers and setting up water stations instead of handing out bottled water for guests.

Meanwhile, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and Alternative Learning System Program and Task Force G.H. Ambat and the regional directors joined the actual bayanihan in two schools in Alfonso: Pansin Elementary School and Kaysuyo National High School.

Briones ended her message by acknowledging the efforts of every Filipino to building the nation: “Today is one of those few occasions when Filipinos across the country set aside differences and become integral members of a united community with a common goal: to nurture lifelong learners whose values and competencies enable them to contribute meaningfully to nation-building.”

Following this, all schools nationwide are expected to further the bayanihan spirit through their internal and external stakeholders’ active mobilization and participation in the upcoming simultaneous Brigada Eskwela on May 20 to 25, 2019, to be followed by Oplan Balik Eskwela from May 27 to June 7, 2019.