THE Department of Education (DepEd) in Central Visayas is optimistic that cases of absenteeism and dropouts will decrease in 2010.

DepEd 7 Director Dr. Recaredo Borgonia hoped that the Linis Lusog Kids project of the GMA Kapuso Foundation in Ayungon Central School Wednesday morning will help solve the perennial problem among school children in the town.

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Linis Lusog Kids project aims to solve the usual problem of school children in Ayungon like diarrhea and other water-borne diseases that most of the time forced the child to absent from school and eventually drop out.

GMA Kapuso Foundation with Unicef, DepEd, and local government units worked together for the project.

Borgonia also noted the advocacy of the late governor Emilio Macias II, which is to end the cases of absenteeism and dropouts through proper hand washing and proper tooth brushing. Toothache is also one of the causes of absenteeism.

Macias, a doctor of medicine by profession, knew the important of proper hand washing and tooth brushing, said Dr. Liland Estacion.

Estacion, chairperson of the Committee on Health of the Provincial Board, stressed that Macias during his incumbency distributed tooth brushes and soap to children.

Representatives Jocelyn Limkaichong (1st district), George Arnaiz (2nd district) and Pryde Henry Teves (3rd district), during their messages, lauded the project and at the same time promised to continue their support for the benefit of children.

Meanwhile, Borgonia also challenged local school officials and local government units to find out the reason on lowest participation rate of school children in Ayungon.

He stressed that Ayungon has 68 percent participation rate.

"It means that for every 100 children, 68 of them are school children," Borgonia said in vernacular, adding that "32 of which are not in school." (Victor L. Camion)