SOME 1,000 public elementary students became beneficiaries of a Department of Education (DepEd) program that aims to instill the importance of basic education and nurture the right attitude among young Filipinos to succeed in life.

A total of 1,000 “PagbaBAGo” bags containing school supplies and dental kits were distributed to grades 1 and 4 students at the Mandaue City Sports and Cultural Complex in Barangay Centro on Saturday, May 27, 2023.

The activity served as the nationwide launching of the “PagbaBAGo: A Million Learners and Trees” program co-developed by Vice President Sara Duterte and the DepEd.

In her speech, Duterte, also the DepEd secretary, said the program was one of her flagship programs when she was mayor of Davao City.

She reminded the parents that their children will have better chances in life when they get good jobs after finishing their education.

“Dili ang bag, dili si Inday Sara ang makapagbag-o ninyo, dili ang inyong ginikanan. Kamo ug inyong mga paningkamot nga mahuman mo og eskwela,” Carpio told the students during the launch. (It’s not the bag, it’s not Inday Sara who can make you change nor your parents, but your efforts in striving to finish school.)

Meanwhile, parents who attended the event shared their sentiments on their children’s challenges in school and said they hope the DepEd will address this concern.

Maria Delar, 39, from Barangay Centro in Mandaue City, said her two children— grade 1 and 4 pupils — still struggle to read and are having a hard time in school.

Delar hopes the DepEd will look into ways to increase the students’ learning abilities and help improve their character.

The same is true for Irene Mag-abo’s children, prompting her to push for a full face-to-face learning to further develop the students’ skills and retention.

The Mandaue City Schools Division currently allows a mix of face-to-face classes and remote modular learning, especially in times when schools are affected by adverse weather conditions as a safety precaution.

Mag-abo also shared how she struggles to teach her two grade 4 students to read, and asked DepEd to prioritize reading classes.

Both mothers were happy as their children received the PagbaBAGo bags and school supplies, saying it will help them save money intended for the children’s school needs.

Carpio said that aside from Mandaue City, there are simultaneous distributions in other satellite areas of the Office of the Vice President in Davao, Tandag, Zamboanga, Tacloban, Bacolod, Dagupan, Isabela, Lipa in Batangas and Tondo in Manila.

Students in the city were also given seedlings to plant.

Her office targeted to distribute around 10,000 PagbaBAGo bags in all of its satellite offices on Saturday and distribute one million pagbaBAGo bags during her six-year term.