December 12, 2022 – Lauded for sustainable development initiatives, two Philippine public high schools of the Department of Education (DepEd) were conferred with the SEAMEO-Japan Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Award in the recent 45th SEAMEO High Officials Meeting last November 29.

From the 272 schools participating from eight Southeast Asian countries, the two schools from Davao Del Norte of Region XI (Davao Region) recognized were La Filipina National High School (LFNHS), Tagum City, which bagged 1st Prize; and Panabo City National High School (PCNHS), Panabo City, which obtained 3rd Prize.

LFNHS Principal Dr. Dionisio B. Siglos and Teacher Coordinator Mr. Philip Bohol led the Salida La Filipina, an initiative that conducted activities focusing on advocacy campaigns; supplementary media-based instructional materials; community engagement; celebrations and events; news and current events; and trainings, seminars, and benchmarking.

Salida La Filipina was our answer to the challenges of distance learning due to the pandemic. Thank you to the school community for conceptualizing the project, to external partners for filling the resource gaps, and to the teachers for braving the production of media-based lessons with the guidance of supervisors,” LFNHS Principal Dr. Siglos said.

On the other hand, PCNHS Principal Ms. Memia Barretto Infiesto and Teacher Coordinator Ms. Darna S. Tan created the “Bayanihan Caravan: Bridging the School and the Community through Partnerships,” which focused on strengthening community partnerships for transformative education, organized community-based literacy and numeracy programs, and addressed the new normal academic framework through curricular research.

“As integral parts of the educative process, we envision schools and stakeholders who are united to help bring information and solutions to address the challenges that teachers and learners face in these difficult times and bring about the positive changes that DepEd also envisions to achieve for our learners and country’s future,” PCNHS Principal Ms. Infiesto stressed.

LFNHS, headed by Principal Dr. Siglos and Teacher Coordinator Mr. Bohol, received a plaque of recognition, prize money of USD$1,500, and a study tour to Japan, while PCNHS, guided by Principal Ms. Infiesto and Teacher Coordinator Ms. Tan, claimed a plaque of recognition and prize money of USD$500.

The plaques of recognition and certificates were awarded and presented by Thailand Minister of Education representative Permanent Secretary Dr. Attaphon Sangkhawasee, SEAMEO Secretariat Director Dr. Ethel Agnes Pascua-Valenzuela, and Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) Specialist and Advisor to the Director for International Affairs Division Mr. Machida Daisuke.

In cooperation with the UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, SEAMEO, and Japan MEXT awarded school program entries fitting to the 2022 regional award’s theme “Education Transformation through Partnership”.