Community join in Bridaga Eskwela

A VOLUNTEER cuts off grass in Mintal Elementary School as part of the Brigada Eskwela in preparation for next month’s opening of classes. BING GONZALES

BRIGADA Eskwela is not just a school activity as the community comes together to contribute time, effort, and resources in ensuring that the school is ready for the opening of classes.

“In Brigada, everybody contributes efforts to rehabilitate, repair, paint, and clean public schools to make it warm and inviting to students and teachers,” said Maria Elena Laranjo, Brigada Eskwela coordinator of Matina Aplaya Elementary School, adding that it is possible to have a partnership between the government and its  constituents.

Brigada Eskwela, also known as the Bayanihan Para Sa Paaralan, began in 2003 as part of the Oplan Balik Eskwela Program and National Maintenance Week of the Department of Education (DepEd).


SOME members of the PBSP member-companies cover about 600 books as their Brigada Eskwela agenda for the day at the Ma-a Central Elementary School.

This year, the Brigada Eskwela was held last May 15, Monday, until May 19, Friday.

Over the years, different stakeholders such as students, teachers, school officials, parents, civil society, local government officials, religious groups, and the private sector have participated in the Brigada Eskwela.

In the just-concluded week-long activity, corporations representing the private sector mobilized employees to participate in the community event though its employee volunteerism program.


SOLDIER help in painting tables during the activity.

SM Lanang Premier sent about 20 volunteers to join the activity in Lapu-Lapu Elementary School, while SM City Davao deployed about 30 volunteers in Kabacan Elementary School.

Meanwhile, the police and military forces also participated in the annual beautification program.

In Compostela Valley, the 71st Infantry Battalion (71IB) joined in the Bridaga Eskwela as they were grateful to help the community by serving as manpower for the duration of the program.

“We enthusiastically commit ourselves in this kind of endeavor as we seek for the safety and security of the students in their schools,” Lt. Col. Davice Christopher Mercado, the battalion commander of 71IB, said in his statement.

Apart from the volunteerism, some of the visitors donated books or other educational materials to the school.

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PARENTS join other volunteers in the Brigade Eskwela in cleaning the classrooms of Matina Central Elementary School in preparation for the opening of classes next month. BING GONZALES

The Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), together with its member companies, Intellicare Corporation, Sagrex Corporation, and Philippine Spring Water Corporation, donated 600 books for the school.

In an interview with TIMES, PBSP Mindanao Regional Center Manager Garibalde Alvin Enriquez said they have been inviting their member companies to give material donations and send volunteers to do the actual work for Brigada.

“The main objective of our group is to support the campaign of the DepEd to make the school more conducive to learning and safe for the children to do their studies.”

PBSP has 264 member-business companies nationwide with 24 in Mindanao.

“We are giving out book covering packages, tree planting packages, painting for chairs and other stuff needed by the school,” he said.

Ryan Mark Navarro, the branch manager of Intellicare Corporation Davao Branch, said they have partnered with PBSP for the first time in Brigada Eskwela campaign.

“This is part of our corporate social responsibility that we created under our Health, Education, Aid, Livelihood, and Sustainability (HEALS) advocacy,” Navarro said.

Previously, they participated in the campaign on their own efforts by just donating materials, instead of sending volunteers, to the different public schools in the region.

“We will continue to do this thing with PBSP. I hope this will be a lifetime partnership with them,” he said.