PUERTO PRINCESA CITY – Palawan Rep. Douglas Hagedorn (Third District) on Wednesday spearheaded donation of books and computers to better equip his constituency to take on challenges of the province’s growing economy, and the overall task of nation-building.
Partnering with Children International Philippines (CIP), a non-profit, humanitarian organization dedicated to alleviating the burdens and effects of poverty on Filipino children, and the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI), a non-profit organization engaged in social development projects in the country, Hagedorn led the donation of 17,000 books to 40 elementary schools in Puerto Princesa and the town of Aborlan under the third district.
The computer sets, on the other hand, were donated to the San Miguel Elementary School in this city, and another school in Aborlan.
“I have always subscribed to Jose Rizal’s principle that the youth is and has always been the hope of our nation. Thus, I have endeavored to look for ways to address the needs of Palawan’s school children, especially the underprivileged,” Hagedorn told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
Through a joint venture with CIP and MBFI, the project, dubbed “Mulat na Kabataan, Pag-asa ng Palawan” hopes to encourage youth empowerment by raising their level of consciousness through donations of educational materials and equipment, which could uplift their quality of life, particularly in the middle of global competition.
CIP’s book donation of a 40-footer container full of brand new books and reference materials from publishers and donors in the United States was delivered to the Puerto Princesa Port on March 14.
Hagedorn said that to ensure that the new books will have decent storage in the schools where they will be donated, he also plans to have new shelves made before they are officially distributed.
Meanwhile, Rebecca Fuellos, CIP’s chief of programs, said the books will cover all grade levels in elementary since education in the Philippines is already K12.
“We started actually, in 2004, when DepEd saw what we’re donating – textbooks and library references – they liked what we are doing and donating,” she told the PNA.
Fuellos what the CIP hopes is that the schools would encourage their pupils to use the books.
”I hope that the books will not just be in the shelves, will not just be kept; they should not be afraid that the books would get destroyed eventually. It’s ok that the books become worn out as long as they’re being read,” she said.
For the teachers and principals, there are instructional materials and references that they can use in teaching the students. “We have in our donation materials that they can use,” Fuellos added.
Hagedorn expressed his gratitude to the generous donors, hopeful that the endeavor is just the beginning of a longer partnership with the humanitarian organizations and the people of Palawan.
”Palawan is also fast becoming a world-renowned eco-tourism destination. To ensure the sustainability of the growing tourism industry, I think we should back it up with a competent and well-informed citizenry,” Hagedorn added. (PNA)