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DepEd: School kids in water shortage-hit areas may forego school uniforms

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, March 15th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – School children in areas hit by water shortage may forego the wearing of school uniforms, according to the Department of Education (DepEd).

DepEd said in a statement that beginning Thursday (March 14), they are allowing students and teachers in public elementary and high school from selected Metro Manila areas to attend classes even if they are wearing casual clothes.

DepEd said they will practice flexibility with their uniform policy in consideration of the ongoing water supply problems in areas being serviced by Manila Water, which disrupted the normal routine in households and establishments.

“We will be very flexible. Ang pinaka-priority natin ay ma-maintain natin na ang mga bata at guro ay papasok,” DepEd Spokesperson Undersecretary Analyn Sevilla said.

“We are flexible so that classes will still continue and for humanitarian reasons. We understand that water supply should be maximized and utilized for more relevant uses such as for food, hygiene,” Sevilla added.

The DepEd official said cancelling classes due to the water shortage is not an option because school children need to complete their required minimum contact time to avoid the creation of another problem.

Sevilla shared that the adjustment in uniform rules was prompted by the request of Mandaluyong schools, following complaints about the maintenance of their comfort rooms due to water interruption.

“(We) allow or authorize non-wearing of uniforms for students and teachers in public schools affected by the water supply shortage in NCR, particularly Mandaluyong which requested for such,” Sevilla said. – Robie de Guzman

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Classes to open on June 3 – DepEd

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Classes for the school year 2019 to 2020 will resume on June 3, Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones said on Wednesday.

Briones said more 27 million learners from kindergarten to Grade 12 are expected to enroll for the incoming school year, which is higher than last year’s 27,018,509 number of enrollees.

“Ang ina-anticipate nating enrollment, parami nang parami. 27,817,737 both learners from kindergarten to grade 12, both public and private,” she said during a press briefing in Malacañang.

Briones added that many of the expected enrollees are from public schools but she did not provide the specific number.

In preparation for the school opening this June, a nationwide “Brigada Eskwela” is being conducted by DepEd in schools across the country.

“Brigada Eskwela,” which national kick-off and caravan was held in Cavite on May 16, is the National Schools Maintenance Week devoted to preparing classrooms and other school facilities for the opening of the school year. 

The “Brigada Eskwela” will run from May 20 to 25, based on DepEd memorandum No. 036.

Briones said the school year 2019-2020 will end on April 3, 2020, while the holiday break will be early from December 15, 2019 until January 6, 2020. (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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No plan to repeal K to 12 Program—Deped

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

The Department of Education (DepEd) has belied claims on social media and said there will be no plan to repeal the K to 12 Basic Education Program.

DepEd said that the information circulating on social media about the repeal of the K to 12 program is based on misinformation and lack of critical discernment.

“The claims circulating online came after news of the Commission on Higher Education’s (CHED) plan to “review and change” the system for its K to 12 Transition Program was misconstrued to mean the implementation of the entire K to 12 Program. These two are not one and the same,” their press statement reads.

The education department reiterated that only the legislative branch has the authority to repeal the program.

They also maintained support for the K to 12 program and that “pushing it back might prove detrimental to the accelerating and increasing demands on education.”

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Irrigation water in Bulacan, Pampanga from Angat Dam to last until May 16—NWRB

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, May 3rd, 2019

Image of Angat Dam taken on May 2, 2019

The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) will stop allocating irrigation water from Angat Dam to Bulacan and Pampanga starting May 16 as water level drops below critical level.

The NWRB has begun reducing the allocation in the irrigation of the said provinces from 3,450 million liters per day to 2,590 million liters for the first two weeks of May.

READ: Water level in Angat dam declines further

NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David said the reduced allocation will not affect the said provinces because they are already close to harvest season.

“Sa tingin natin hindi makaka-apekto ito sa mga palayan diyan kasi nga po halos patapos na ang pagtatanim diyan at malapit na po mag-ani ang mga kababayan natin sa Bulacan at Pampanga kaya sa tingin natin hindi na ganun kalaki ang pangangailangan nila sa tubig sa panahon na ito, (We think this will not affect the crops in Bulacan and Pampanga because planting season is over and harvest season is near. We think their need for irrigation water supply will not be as much)” he said.

Meanwhile, the NWRB continues to monitor the water level in Angat Dam and will also continue to conduct cloud seeding to aid in the water supply.

“Masusi nating binabantayan ang kasalukuyang level at iyong mga development sa panahon kasi alam naman po natin na iyong pag-recover ng dam partikular ang Angat umaasa tayo sa mga pagulan, (We are carefully monitoring the water level and the development in the weather because the recovery of a dam, particularly in Angat [Dam] relies on rain)” according to David.

Water level in Angat Dam is currently in 177.5 meters from the 212 meters normal high water level.

The NWRB estimates that the water level will only reach as low as 173 meters before May ends.(with reports from Mon Jocson)

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