May 18, 2024

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – More than firefighting, fire officers in Kibungan are helping schools in the town in sourcing out materials for the modular learning scheme adopted by the Department of Education.

The Bureau of Fire Protection-Kibungan initiated the “Project Box of Hope,” which involves soliciting cash and in-kind donations from kind-hearted people to support DepEd’s distance learning.

The first wave of the project initially spearheaded by SFO4 Bernardo C. Bravo and now by designated OIC SFO4 Gualberto A. Lucea, Jr., benefited 14 schools in barangays Tacadang, Badeo, Sagpat, and Poblacion.

The BFP collected P110,409, which was used to procure bond papers and plastic envelopes. This is apart from the 24 boxes of bond paper, a printer and sets of inks, four boxes of books, three bags of clothes, a box of brown envelopes, a bag of toys, and other school supplies that were donated.

Project Head and BFP-Kibungan Administration Chief Kenny Gadoan said they plan to conduct a second wave for schools in barangays Palina and Lubo. 

Gadoan said the project was inspired by his friend Neris Bayan, the punong barangay of Kayang Extension in Baguio City, who donated reams of bond paper for the Sapda-an Elementary School in Barangay Sagpat, which he was asked to deliver.

School Head Julie Licudan shared to Gadoan that the allocation from DepEd is not enough for the reproduction of modules for the pupils, which gave rise to Project Box of Hope.

Before rolling out the project in September, BFP-Kibungan identified their target recipients – the hard-to-reach schools.

The BFP personnel delivered the materials to the recipient-schools.

But in the case of Tacadang, which is one of the most remote areas in Kibungan, Gadoan said they coordinated that the supplies and materials for the seven identified schools be included during the airlifting of relief goods to the area.

This was done through the Tactical Operations Group 1 of the Philippine Air Force in coordination with the Office of the Civil Defense.

Elizabeth Siplat, a school teacher in Tacadang National High School, thanked the efforts of the people behind the project.

Aside from the donors, the fire officer also expressed gratitude to the local government unit through Mayor Cesar Molitas for the support to the project. – Susan C. Aro