On behalf of the Department of Education (DepEd), I am honored and pleased to welcome our almost 27.2 million learners from all over the country to the opening of School Year 2019-2020!

As you troop to your respective schools, bear in mind that it took the whole community—parents, teachers, local government units, national government agencies, non-government organizations, partners from the public and private sectors, and other stakeholders—to prepare you on this journey. Through Brigada Eskwela, they all contributed their time, effort, and resources to provide you with a safe and motivating learning environment.

Our Oplan Balik Eskwela, meanwhile, gathered our allies to provide you access to fairly priced commodities, safer streets and roads, and adequate water and electricity supply, among many of your other needs. Our command centers and hotlines nationwide are open to serve you and ensure a smooth opening of classes.

Given our continuously increasing population and the challenges that we have to hurdle, we are likewise increasing our efforts to deliver quality, accessible, relevant, and liberating basic education. As we pivot from access to quality, we are continuously reviewing our curriculum and developing our learning resources, including our teachers, through the transformation of our National Educators Academy of the Philippines. We are also continuously upgrading our facilities by improving their resistance to typhoons and earthquakes.

As we open another school year, I enjoin everyone who believes in the cause of education to work together and join us in responding to the increasing development requirements of our country, and in creating a better world for the Filipino learners whom we are all sworn to serve.

Maligayang pagbabalik-eskwela!