PASIG CITY, May 27, 2019 – To ensure the smooth opening of classes for School Year 2019-2020, the Department of Education (DepEd) converged its partner government agencies as it formally launched today the national Oplan Balik Eskwela (OBE).
“Ang konsepto natin dito ay ang edukasyon ay hindi lamang responsibilidad ng Department of Education. Lahat ng ating government agencies, including the private sector, ay nagtutulungan para sa paghahanda sa pagbabalik-eskwela ng ating mga bata,” Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones shared during the press conference at the Bulwagan ng Karunungan, DepEd Central Office.
Inter-Agency Task Force
This year’s OBE Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) consists of the Department of Energy (DOE); Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG); Department of Health (DOH); Department of National Defense (DND); Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH); Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD); Department of Trade and Industry (DTI); Department of Transportation (DOTr); Manila Electric Company (MERALCO); Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS); Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA); Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA); and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
As co-chairpersons of the 2019 OBE, Undersecretary for Planning, Human Resource and Organizational Development, and Field Operations Jesus Mateo, and Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Service and Alternative Learning System Program and Task Force G. H. Ambat expressed their gratitude to the representatives of the IATF who presented their respective preparations for the school opening.
PNP’s Ligtas Balik Eskwela shall deploy approximately 6,000 personnel for the National Capital Region (NCR) alone, and 150,000 personnel nationwide to prevent and suppress the occurrence of criminal and terroristic incidents targeting the general public including students, teachers, and parents.
DTI, meanwhile, is conducting a series of OBE Diskwento Caravan through its Consumer Protection and Advocacy Bureau. It also published the Gabay sa Presyo ng School Supplies as it intensifies its weekly price monitoring activities from May to June.
PAGASA delivered rainy day safety reminders and discussed the protocols on warning services, while DPWH shared the maintenance activities of its district engineering offices inside and within the vicinities of the schools including the repainting of pedestrian markings and de-clogging of drainages.
Maynilad Water Services, Inc. assured the public that there will be no pipe-laying/repair activities near schools on school opening and that ongoing excavations near schools shall be safe/passable for motorists and pedestrians. They also presented their Lingkod Eskwela Program which gives public school students access to potable water through the drink-wash facilities they installed.
The MMDA’s Balik Eskwela Program this year shall focus on increasing awareness on smoke-free campuses and protecting the youth from the dangers of smoking, while the DILG directed its local chief executives to support the OBE activities.
MERALCO shared their various activities including the assessment of schools’ electrical connections and trimming of tree branches along electrical facilities. DOE, meanwhile, discussed the power situation/outlook in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, as well as its coordination efforts with power generation companies and other relevant institutions.
Finally, DSWD assured the public on the on-time payout of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) cash grants.
Public Assistance Command Center
The Public Assistance Command Center (PACC), stationed at the Bulwagan ng Karunungan in DepEd CO, shall be operational from May 27 to June 7 to address the problems, queries, and other concerns commonly encountered by public at the start of the school year, and to ensure that all learners are properly enrolled and able to attend school on the first day of classes on June 3.
The PACC shall also serve as the information and complaints processing and routing zone for the duration of the OBE. Regional and schools division offices are also enjoined to set up a command center to receive and respond to concerns directly from the ground.
The following channels shall be open to the public through the PACC: hotlines (636-1663; 635-9817; 638-7530; 633-1942; 638-8641; 638-7529; and 634-0222 (fax)); email (email@example.com); text messaging (09194560027); social media (Department of Education–Philippines on Facebook and DepEd_PH on Twitter); walk-in assistance; and legal assistance, if applicable.
This effort is pursuant to the DepEd Memorandum No. 29, s. 2019 entitled “2019 Oplan Balik Eskwela.”