FORTY more bicycles were turned over to student-beneficiaries of the Bike for Education Program last July 10, 2018 at Kinablangan Barangay Plaza in Baganga, Davao Oriental.
This time, the turnover had Department of Education (Deped) Undersecretary Tonisito Umali heading the ceremonies with Deped Davao regional director Alberto T. Escobarte, Officer-in-Charge of the Schools Division Office of the Division of Davao Oriental Dr. Lorenzo E. Mendoza, and other Deped 11 officials, Metrobank Mati branch manager Edmar T. Plaza, Bike for the Philippines (BFP) Foundation founder Joel F. Uichico, and local government officials headed by Baganga Mayor Arturo Monday.
It was the second batch of bikes brought in by Uichico and will benefitting students of the Dr. Beato C. Macayra National High School. The school principal Christian Sango was there to accept the bicycles.
“This program is not just a tool for transportation but an instrument to a better future,” Umali said in his speech.
The department utilizes its budget more on infrastructure, computer modernization, and human resources thus supplementing donations are most welcome.
The office of the External Partnership Service headed by Umali is the one tasked to seek out charitable private groups willing to support basic public education.
Umali, who shared similar sentiments with students who trek every day to get to school when he was in high school, said that being able to bike to school makes students more enthusiastic about going to school every day and thus finish their secondary education in no time.
Umali said his father was incarcerated and he had to live with his aunt for years. To save his meager allowance he walks to and from school and goes home to his aunt for lunch, as well.
He praised the project, echoing what the student-recipients have coined for to describe project: “tungo sa malusog at magandang kinabukasan”.
Bikes not only make it easier for children living far from school to attend classes every day, it also serves as a daily exercise.
They are expecting another batch to arrive.
Director Escobarte, in his speech, underscored the unified efforts of all stakeholders in education to come up with interventions to close the gap of the haves and the have-nots in terms of receiving quality basic education for all.
Deped Davao Oriental OIC-SDS Mendoza thanked all the donors and officials who graced the occasion and acknowledge the unified efforts of the school for successfully conducting such a big event in just a short notice.
“This exemplifies the culture that we want to instill among our Deped people here in the Division of Davao Oriental, to work like a well-oiled machine with less or no supervision at all yet the programs and projects of Deped are realized,” Mendoza said.
Meanwhile, Metrobank Mati branch manager Plaza assured that Metrobank Foundation will continue to support public education as much as they can.
Metrobank has long partnered with Deped providing computers and other educational materials to schools nationwide.
This time, it partnered with BFP, recognizing the greater need for access.
The partnership with BFP to reach out to public schools all over the country has been going on for three years now.
Aside from the bikes, BFP founder Uichico arrived with maintenance equipment and tires.
He reminded the beneficiaries to practice safe biking as they were trained to do.
Rutchie L. Adanza, the bike coordinator of the school thanked all the people behind this project, which she said gives easier access to students to go to school and at the same time instills road courtesy and knowledge about road safety.