Hopes springs eternal for Balibago students

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Saturday, March 22, 2014


ANGELES CITY -- It is never too late to get an education.

Sixty-seven year-old Tito Mengote proved this maxim well when he and 20 other students graduated from the Alternative Learning System program organized by the Department of Education (DepEd) and Barangay captain Rodelio "Tony" Mamac.

The ALS, along with the Basic Literacy Program of DepEd, aims to provide free education to Out-of-School Youth (OSY) and adult elementary and secondary school drop-outs, industry-based workers, housewives, maids, factory workers, drivers, members of cultural minorities, indigenous people and the disabled or physically challenged.

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But Mengote was a curious case. Mamac said that Mengote only finished high school some 54 years ago.

"For us here Balibago, it is never too late for a person to get an education. As long as there are people willing to learn we are here to help them through these programs," Mamac said.

Mamac said that the ALS program targets OSYs in Balibago. The move is seen as an effective way of keeping young people out of streets. Initially, the program had some 30 enrollees with 20 graduating from the program and can now seek college education.

"If they have an education, they can seek jobs and earn a living and would not resort to perpetrate crimes because of poverty," Mamac said.

The Balibago Barangay Council, through Mamac, have been discussing with business establishments in the city for the employment of the graduates for them to earn a living and send themselves to college.

Mamac said that the council has also passed an ordinance on their version of a local amusement tax which aims to gather funds for the educational support program for the barangay. The ordinance is now before the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

Through the ordinance, the barangay will be able to provide for scholarships and allowances for the indigent youths of the barangay.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 23, 2014.

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