Jon Aying

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Brigada Eskwela Kicks Off Today; Army, PNP Joining

Schools divisions nationwide are all set for 2014 Brigada Eskwela which kicks off today in public elementary and high schools in the Philippines.

A Department of Education (DepEd) announcement said all personnel will attend this event and government offices and other stakeholders are also invited to participate.

The DepEd has scheduled the conduct of the Brigada Eskwela 2014, also known as the National Schools Maintenance Week from May 19 to 24, 2014. This school maintenance effort engages all education stakeholders to contribute their time, effort and resources in ensuring that the public school facilities are ready in time for the opening of classes in the elementary and high school levels on June 2.

In his Memorandum No. 32, S. 2014, Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro mentioned that for this year, the Brigada Eskwela effort will focus on making schools disaster-ready, and on developing disaster-resilient school communities.

The Army Wears Many Hats

Soldiers are not only defenders of the community. They are ambassadors of goodwill, too.

As narrated by Col. Jon Aying, commanding officer of 303rd Infantry Brigade in Negros Occidental, the Bayanihan Team of soldiers patrol the hinterlands to promote peace and development. Winning the peace is not by bullets but through better community relations.

Members of the Bayanihan team carry with them few kilos of rice given to the residents in the far flung barangay as part of their penetration activity.* (Edith B. Colmo photos)

Upon arrival in the hinterland areas, the Bayanihan Team coordinates with the barangay officials and sitio leaders, whom they present their intention of conducting activities for the benefit of the community. Before the conduct of any activity, they survey the area to determine the density population, livelihood of the people; identify the needs of people. But, during their house to house survey, they give their pasalubong to the family – few kilos of rice, sometimes with sardines if they have the budget. In the course of conversation with the people, they asked what are their needs and problems that affect them most.