VICE President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte is pushing to include the “mandatory toothbrush drills” in the K to 12 program.

Duterte bared this in a television interview with Pastor Apollo Quiboloy aired on Thursday, December 1 via SMNI.

She underscored the significance of dental health and spreading awareness among learners.

“We target to roll it out sa field, 2024 or 2025, pero hinahabol namin ‘yung school year 2024-2025 na masali ‘yan, parang mandatory toothbrush drill (but we’re targeting for 2024-2025 to include that, the mandatory toothbrush drill) instead of mandatory officers’ Reserved Officers Training [Corps] (ROTC), dito kasi kami sa (because we’re here in) basic education,” Duterte said.

Duterte said this proposal is part of the holistic program, which aims to mold the character and well-being of the children.

“Isa ‘yan sa gusto naming i-implement, mayroon kaming kini-create na program ngayon na we intend to run corollary doon sa pagpapatakbo ng ROTC sa higher education. Sinasabi namin sa kanila, ituturo namin dito life skills, service, values, dito sa basic education, kasama ‘yung good hygiene, kasama ‘yung toothbrush drills (This is one of the [things] we want to implement, we are creating a program now which we intend to run corollary to the ROTC in Higher Education. We are telling them, what we will teach are life skills, service, values, here in the basic education, including the good hygiene, like toothbrush drills),” she said.

The Education secretary said that dental health is vital, considering the risks that it may pose to kids and adults once neglected.

Her consciousness of dental protection, which became her personal advocacy, was based on her learnings from her father, former President Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte saw that most students lack awareness of proper dental cleaning, which results in tooth decay, infection, and other consequences.

“If we just guide our young ones, because they are very malleable... Kasi para lahat ng bata, maganda ang smile (So that all children will have better smiles),” she said.

Part of the dental drills proposed program is the distribution of dental kits with instructional materials for proper dental cleaning, accompanied by information campaigns on the matter. RGL