LOCAL Government Secretary Benhur Abalos highlighted during a national summit on education, the department’s initiatives to address the challenges in the (education) sector down to the grassroots level.
Speaking at the Synergia Foundation’s 2023 WSycip National Education Summit at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Abalos underscored the need to create opportunities for teaching and non-teaching personnel in public schools in accordance with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s directive to improve the quality of education in the country.
“The DILG remains steadfast in our guidance to the local government units (LGUs) in supporting the Department of Education (DepEd) and its implementation of national and local programs that ensure and advance educational governance at the LGUs,” the DILG Secretary said.
He cited data gathered by the DILG, wherein LGUs in 12 regions of the country identified their common priorities such as construction and improvement of school infrastructure; financial support for teachers; and provision of school supplies and equipment, among others.
The DILG chief likewise emphasized efforts to address the pressing gaps affecting education such as poverty, lack of resources and infrastructure, ongoing armed conflicts, digital divide, and nutrition.
The DILG, he said, has been implementing a holistic approach to armed conflict through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (e-CLIP) assistance for former rebels, and a focus on creating better telecommunications infrastructure to close the gap in digital access.
Meanwhile, Abalos pointed out the problem of malnutrition and the lack of access to nutritious and affordable food as overarching contributors to the poor performance of learners.
“The problem is not just about the educational system. We should also look at the bigger problem of malnutrition, which stunts the growth and learning of our children. Kahit anong turo natin, if the children lack proper nutrition, walang magiging epekto,” he added, referencing to his program for nutrition in Mandaluyong City when he was the mayor.