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'Bata Balik Eskwela' urges kids to go back to school

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By Casandra E. Balala (PIA-Albay)

LEGAZPI CITY (PIA)—The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Bicol (DSWD-5) has launched its “Bata Balik Eskwela” (BBE) campaign to ensure that the children beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) will enroll in classes.

Glorei Lindio, DSWD-5 information officer for 4Ps, said the campaign aims to encourage the children to return to school and continue their education so they can fully maximize the benefits of 4Ps.

DSWD’s 4Ps is a human development program of the national government that invests in the health and education of poor households, particularly of children aged 18 and below.

For its educational grant, every monitored child in elementary receives P300 per month while the high school children beneficiaries receives P500 per month each. The program covers only three children per household.

Lindio explained that the education grant will be given to children beneficiaries every after two months.

“For example, the education grant for February and March will be given in May. Another month [April] is allotted for our monitoring and updating to ensure that these children are coming to school consistently,” she said.

Meanwhile, DSWD-5 Regional Director Arnel B. Garcia said the campaign addresses the children’s difficulties in pursuing their studies. It includes financial challenges, children who are engaged in early marriage or early pregnancy, and children who are sickly.

The BBE campaign includes current activities of 4Ps such as youth and family development sessions that are designed to develop a positive mindset among the youth and parents, especially in valuing education.

It also contains various interventions such as case management to help the children and its family cope up with their problems, particularly on how to meet the child’s school needs.

“Under the BBE, children beneficiaries will be equipped with necessary life skills so that they will realize their full potentials to contribute meaningfully to improving the condition of their families,” Garcia said.

As of this writing, DSWD-5 is monitoring 818,131 children covered by 4Ps in Bicol. Of the number, 9,940 were already sent back to schools while 19,655 were subject for case management intervention.