Butuan City – 7/22/2022

To emphasize the importance of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), DepEd Caraga, through the Education Support Services Division (ESSD), led by Bernabe L. Linog, conducted a 2-day virtual capacity development on the sustainability of WASH in Schools (WINS) in times of emergencies last July 19-20, 2022, via MS Teams.

In her message, Regional Director Ma Gemma Mercado Ledesma emphasized the importance of WASH in Schools, hence institutionalizing the program as part of the holistic education of learners. “Going through the steps in implementing this program requires a strong sense of urgency because we are moving towards full in-person classes this coming school year,” she said.

During the 2-day virtual training, attended by over 1000 personnel from the Regional Office, Division Offices, Schools, and Local Government Units, they discussed their responsibilities in sustaining program implementation. The resource speakers for the training were Dr. Mateo M. Bimbao of DepEd Region 6, Dr. Isidro Catubig of DepEd Region 8, Vonerich B. Berna of BLSS-Central Office, Ms. Adelina H. Velasco from Save the Children Philippines, Jon Michael Villasenor of UNICEF, Siargao Division Principal Rolan Raza, Dr. Alejandro P. Macadatar of FTAD and Nerison Pitogo from the ICT Unit of the Regional Office.

The Agusan del Sur Division, Bislig City Division, and Cabadbaran City Division showcased a 10-minute presentation on low-cost handwashing facilities and gender-segregated toilets. Meanwhile, Siargao Division presented strategies and management of the water crisis for sustainable WINS implementation.

Moreover, personnel from the Regional Office, and select employees from the SDOs and Schools, convened for face-to-face hands-on training on the Online Monitoring System (OMS) on July 22, 2022, at Vefacio Bed and Breakfast. The system provides data for further adjustment or enhancement of the implemented programs.

The hands-on training also involved making reusable menstrual pads to raise awareness of the program’s ecological and economic impact and encourage the reduction of solid and residual waste.

“Let our learners appreciate their expanded roles towards themselves and the environment in which they live by a simple act of self-care,” ended RD Ledesma.