Lead-safe paints for healthy schools—EcoWaste

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 21, 2019   •   1372

In time for Brigada Eskwela, environment group EcoWaste Coalition calls on volunteers to use lead safe paints for a healthy school.

They also remind participating schools to be mindful of the government’s environmental and health policies.

According to Thony Dizon, the chemical safety campaigner of EcoWaste Coalition, lead is dangerous for the developing brains of children.

“The mandatory use of lead-safe paints in schools has to be strictly observed to ensure a healthy environment where children can study, discover their potentials and hone their skills and talents,” he said.

EcoWaste also encourages a pollution-free Brigada Eskwela and the observation of basic practices in ecological solid waste management.

“We urge Brigada Eskwela participants to be on the guard against improper disposal of waste resulting from the weeklong cleanup activities. Please refrain from mixing discards and from dumping and burning them as these are against DepEd’s policy and R.A. 9003,” Dizon added.

Use lead-safe medals, trophies for graduation—Eco-group

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 29, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — An eco-group urges schools to use lead-safe medals and trophies for their graduation.

EcoWaste Coalition reported that out of the 15 medal samples they examined, nine were found to contain lead.

They found cheap and unlabeled medals tainted with lead paint. These were sold for P25 in Quiapo and Sta. Cruz, Manila.

Based on Department Order no. 4 series of 2017 of the Department of Education (Deped), only lead-safe coatings or paints shall be mandatory to all pre-school, elementary and secondary schools.

The group laments that they still find school achievement medals with lead paint.

“Children’s products must be safe from lead, a hazardous substance that is known to harm the brain, decrease intelligence, stunt development and growth, and cause behavioral disorders,” according to Thony Dizon, the Chemical Safety Campaigner of EcoWaste Coalition.

EcoWaste is also calling for the amendment of DepEd’s Department Order No. 36, series of 2016 or the “Policy Guidelines on Awards and Recognition for the K to 12 Basic Education Program”.

The group suggests that schools can opt to give out certificates of achievement or recognition to outstanding students instead of medals. This is for the students to be safe from lead and other chemicals.

“If medals are preferred, the EcoWaste Coalition advised schools to go for plain, unpainted medals unless the paint used is guaranteed compliant with the government’s regulation,” according to their statement.—Aileen Cerrudo

DepEd sets ‘Brigada Eskwela’ for May 20 to 25

Marje Pelayo   •   March 26, 2019

Volunteers help clean up classrooms in preparation for the school opening

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) has announced the official start of its annual clean up drive or ‘Brigada Eskwela’ in preparation for the opening of classes for School Year 2019-2020.

This year’s school clean up efforts will run from May 20 to 25 which aims to “bring together all education stakeholders to participate and contribute their time, effort, and resources to prepare public schools for the opening of classes.”

Likewise, Education Secretary Leonor Briones announced through DepEd Memorandum No. 029 series of 2019 the launching of Oplan Balik Eskwela (OBE).

The OBE is a collaborative effort of government agencies and organizations as well as other stakeholders for the opening of the school year.

“The OBE is part of the Department’s efforts to ensure that learners are already properly enrolled and able to attend school by the first day of classes,” Briones said in the memo.

Oplan Balik Eskwela will run from May 27 to June 7. – Marje Pelayo

DepEd to use department’s budget for construction of school buildings in Marawi City

UNTV News   •   October 24, 2017

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) believes the collapse of structures in Marawi City should not bring with it the dreams of the children there.

According to Education Sec. Leonor Briones, the youth should still have the motivation to finish their studies and to have a better future despite the suffering they endured.

This is why the Education secretary said she will ask the President to realign the funds for the construction of new school buildings across the country to the efforts to rehabilitate the strife-torn area.

Sec. Briones said once the proposal is approved, they will immediately begin the rehabilitation and reconstruction of schools in Marawi City.

She explained it is of utmost importance now to repair the damaged schools at the soonest possible time.

Briones also noted the DepEd should not also fall in line to seek funds from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and to wait long, saying the students affected by the crisis should go back to school at once.

“That’s why our request if we will be allowed, is for calamity related in the case of Marawi . . . the extent of the damage is so huge. It’s the biggest direct damage I think, at DepEd,” Briones said.

“We have the fund for building, for new school buildings . . . it will reach about 4 billion. Part of our BFF will have to be used,” she added.

Part of the rehabilitation of the school in Marawi is the conduct of Brigada Eskwela that the DepEd will begin at the soonest possible time, alongside the visit of Secretary Briones in the area.

DepEd will also launch the so-called Adopt-a-School Program in the city to hasten the repair of damaged schools with the help of the private sector.

The Education secretary also announced that DepEd prefers to accept donations in the form of construction materials and school equipment, than monetary donations.

Briones said the construction of school buildings would be faster if the materials are already prepared, instead of waiting for the auditing and liquidation of donated amounts.

“Besides the military is going into construction itself although we’d prefer to advise the use of our own standards for the resiliency aspect of schools because the requirement for calamity related events is increasing,” Briones added.

For now, DepEd continues to conduct assessment on the damaged school campuses to determine where to begin the repair and rehabilitation. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue


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