DILG urges local execs: Support ‘Oplan Balik Eskwela’

MANILA The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday urged local chief executives (LCEs) to support the Department of Education's (DepEd) Oplan Balik Eskwela (OBE) campaign for the opening of classes on June 3.

Local (executives) are expected to work closely with DepEd to ensure that the school opening is as smooth and orderly as possible so that both students and teachers will be inspired to embark on this new learning journey, said DILG Secretary Eduardo M. AAo in a statement.

The OBE, which runs from May 27 - June 7, is DepEd's annual initiative to engage agencies, organizations and other stakeholders in preparation for the incoming school year.

It aims to address problems, queries, and other concerns commonly encountered by the public at the start of the school year and ensure that learners are properly enrolled and able to attend school on the first day of classes on June 3.

Through DILG Memorandum Circular 2019 - 78, the DILG Secretary also encouraged LCEs to convene their Peace and Order Councils (POC), Local Council for the Protection of Children (LCPC), and Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (LDRRMC) in preparation for the opening of the classes.

LCEs are also urged to assist in providing information and quick response, mobilize barangays to clean/mark signage road networks leading to schools, and assist DepEd in preparing school facilities.

AAo also directed the LCEs to deploy their local police and barangay force multipliers to be stationed near the school gates and along roads leading to schools to ensure the safety of students going to and from their schools.

"Dapat maging mapagbantay ang kapulisan at mga barangay tanod para bantayan at protektahan ang mga istudyante laban sa mga kriminal at mga mapagsamantala (The police and village watchmen should always be on the lookout to protect students against criminals and other lawless elements), he said.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) ensured police presence and security patrols in schools and transportation hubs; deployment of road safety marshals; and information drive through quad media and distribution of safety tips and anti-criminality leaflets.

"The PNP is prepared to assist OBE. We will be establishing Police Assistance Desks in school campuses in coordination with concerned school authorities, Parents-Teachers Association, and security force managers, LGUs and respective barangay force multiplier, among others," said PNP Spokesperson Colonel Bernard Banac.

The PNP will also organize Non-Government Organizations and Civilian Volunteer Organizations to assist in providing security, traffic assistance, and other public safety services in coordination with DepEd and the LGU.

Coordination with school authorities and other agencies for the installation of CCTVs in strategic locations is also a priority of the PNP

The PNP will field a total of 120,000 personnel in accordance with the security and safety plans for the opening of classes on June 3.

PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde, said the PNP's guidelines for 'Ligtas Balik-Eskwela 2019' is to ensure the operational readiness of police units in responding to peace and order concerns including threats from criminal elements that may take advantage of the situation.

Along these efforts, we set our plans with enough number of police force to be deployed to launch mobile and foot patrols along major routes and highways for the 2019 Balik Eskwela leading to all schools and other learning institutions, Albayalde said.

Other police efforts are establishing task units to address bullying in schools, intelligence and information gathering against kidnappings in schools, presence of improvised explosive devices, and other efforts against threats as feared by the public.

Around 29 million students across the country in various grade levels are expected to troop to schools for the simultaneous opening of classes in both public and private learning institutions. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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