By Eldie S. Aguirre
Digos City Bureau Chief
STA. MARIA, Davao Occidental — More than 7,000 kindergarten and grade schoolers all over the province will benefit from the support services crafted by local officials to encourage children in going to their respective schools.
Governor Claude Bautista along with his elder brother Vice Governor Franklin Bautista and some members of the provincial board launched the Comprehensive Program for the Barangays under the Best Education for Social Transformation (CPB-Best) inside the Jose Timbol Sr. Central Elementary School in Sta. Maria town on Tuesday.
At least 680 pupils received complete school uniform, backpack bag, shoes, socks, notebooks, ballpen, and pencil during the initial distribution.
In an interview, Bautista said local officials have recognized the immediate need to intervene on the prevalent problem of both parents and teachers where school children often refuse to attend classes due to lack of uniforms and other school supplies.
“We don’t want to see children missing their chance of getting good education just because of this reason. Hence, we came up with this plan, the ‘Bihis Bata Program’ to give each children the opportunity to learn many things in school even if their parents are poor,” the governor said.
Vice Governor Franklin Bautista said the provincial board members have allocated P9-million for 2017 as fund for the program to cater more than 7,000 kindergarten and grade schoolers in Davao Occidental.
“By 2018, the program will be sustained by allocating another P15 million to accomodate every school children in the province. This is a continuing program to help our parents in sending their kids to school,” the vice-governor said.
Roberto Mariscal, Jose Timbol school principal said he is confident that the Bihis-Bata Program could help eradicate minors going out-of-school due to poverty.