Davao Sur town Day Care enrollees doubles

July 15, 2010 10:01 am 

STA. MARIA, Davao del Sur, July 15 — An apparent increase in enrolment has been observed in Sta. Maria, Davao del Sur since the anti-poverty program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) was implemented in the municipality.

Norberta Sandoval, Day Care worker of Barangay Poblacion, Sta. Maria said DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) came to the municipality in 2009.

Sandoval said about 46 new day care centers (DCCs) were opened in Sta. Maria to cater to the huge increase in enrollment.

This year, she said another two DCCs will be constructed in the municipality to accommodate the enrollees.

“Gina-expect na namo ni nga mahitabo sa pag-abot sa 4Ps apan wala kami nagdahom nga ingon ani kadaghan (We expected this would happen upon the onset of 4Ps but we did not anticipate it will be this great a number), Sandoval, a Day Care worker since 1984, said.

Sandoval said one of the biggest rises in enrolment is in Barangay Sto. Nino, where the number of enrollees increased two-fold from 15 enrollees last year, now it has 32.

"Sa pirmero naguol mi kung asa ibutang ang mga bata kay tungod sa kadaghan. Sa poblacion pa lang daan nadungagan na og 14 ka bata, gikan sa 60 nahimo nang 74 ka bata (At first we were worried where to put the others because of the sizeable number of day care enrollees. In the Poblacion alone, an additional 14 children enrolled in the preschool, from 60 children it has surged to 74),” she said.

Sta. Maria Mayor Mila P. Mariscal-Cabanero said the municipality has established various strategies to solve the still insufficient number of day care centers and the booming increase of enrollees. Day care classes have been divided into two. One class is for children three to four years old and the other is intended for five year-old children.

“Akoa gyud gimandoan ang tanan Day Care workers nga dawaton gyud ang mga bata nga magpa-enrol, dili sila dapat balibaran. (I personally instructed all Day Care workers to accept all children who will enroll). There should be no limit in the number of enrollees in each barangay,” Cabanero said.

While the municipality allocates a budget for each barangay for the school supplies, Cabanero said they also advocate the use of local and indigenous materials for school implements.

“This is, however, still under the discretion of the day care worker to make use of what is readily available and applicable,” she said.

Sta. Maria is one of the six municipalities in Davao del Sur identified by 4Ps along with Malita, Don Marcelino, Jose Abad Santos, Sarangani and Kiblawan. The municipality has a total of 5,013 4Ps beneficiaries.

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is a poverty-reduction strategy of the national government that provides conditional cash grants to extremely poor households in the region to help improve the health, nutrition and education especially of children 0 to 14 years old. (PNA) LBV/Carmela D. Duron/lvp

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