Believing that quality education is a foundation in improving people’s lives and obtaining sustainable development, the country’s largest integrated telecommunications company PLDT Inc. (PLDT), and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) provided over P2.16 million worth of communication support to LGUs that successfully implemented education programs.
The recipients were identified by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Synergeia Foundation (Synergeia) for the 2020-2021 Seal of Good Education Governance.
Now on its 4th run, 27 cities and municipalities were recognized for ensuring continuous learning in their communities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The criteria used by USAID and Synergeia in selecting this year’s Seal awardees include a high cohort survival rate, the ratio of current enrollment compared to the previous academic year, a decrease in the number of frustrated and non-readers, a reinvented Local School Board, and functional School Governing Councils.
Since 2017, PLDT and Smart have been supporting USAID and Synergeia in recognizing local governments that promote and sustain quality education for their citizens.
“We at PLDT and Smart understand that learning never stops, even during a pandemic. We recognize the role of education in producing quality human capital, as our companies are heavily dependent on this,” Smart Vice President for Community Partnerships Darwin F. Flores said during the virtual ceremony.
The awarding for this year’s Seal of Good Education Governance took place during the 14th Washington SyCip National Education Summit, a two-day online event that gathered educators, parents, and LGU officials to discuss education issues.
Guests included Vice President Leni Robredo, USAID acting administrator Gloria Steele, and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, who heads the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.
“The culture-building ability of Synergeia transforms ordinary mayors to champions of education. We need passion and commitment so that all education reforms will be properly implemented on the ground, to each classroom in this country,” he explained.
2020-2021 Seal of Good Education Governance recipients included first-time awardees Balanga City, Bataan; San Fernando, La Union; General Santos City; San Manuel, Pangasinan; Roxas, Palawan; Barotac Viejo, Iloilo; and Dumangas, Iloilo.
Two-time winners were Padre Garcia, Batangas; Agoo, La Union; San Gabriel, La Union; Ivisan, Capiz; Alimodian, Iloilo; Vigan City, Ilocos Sur; Mambusao, Capiz.
Those who received the Seal for the third time were Tuba, Benguet; Cabatuan, Iloilo; Concepcion, Iloilo; Villaverde, Nueva Vizcaya; and Navotas City, Metro Manila.
Local governments that were conferred the Seal for the fourth time were Solano, Nueva Vizcaya; Bacnotan, La Union; Diffun, Quirino; Mina, Iloilo; Cagayan de Oro City; Datu Paglas, Maguindanao; North Upi, Maguindanao; and Valenzuela City, Metro Manila.
PLDT and Smart will be providing each of the 27 Seal winners with PhP 80,000 communication allowance that can be used for call, text, and data services.
“The package is intended to help LGUs coordinate more effectively and implement their education programs successfully,” Flores said.
“If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is that our lives are intertwined. Each of us is a stakeholder contributing to this project of nation-building,” VP Leni Robredo said.
“The education of our children rests not only on the shoulders of the academe. It is a responsibility shared across entire communities, and together in the spirit of bayanihan is what will see us through,” she added.
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