The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is poised to release an updated list of back-to-school items before school year 2002-2023 starts this month of August.
Trade Undersecretary for consumer protection Ruth Castelo said the Balik Eskwela price guide is a seasonal price monitoring campaign to help consumers prepare for the onset of the school season, set aside a budget for school supplies, and provide comparable prices for similar products by different manufacturers.
“Balik Eskwela price guide is just a guide for consumers to know the cost and where to buy (them). Prices of school products vary due to quality, make, and volume. These are seasonal products,” she said Thursday.
The Balik Eskwela price guide campaign is back after two years in the pandemic when physical classes were suspended and the learning platform pivoted to online classes.
The DTI reminded consumers that the Balik Eskwela price guide is separate from the Suggested Retail Price (SRP) bulletin specific to prices of basic needs and prime commodities (BNPCs).
Another seasonal price guide is the Noche Buena price guide that is traditionally released as the Christmas season approaches.
Castelo said the Balik Eskwela price guide has been reviewed in detail as Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual ordered.
“We will publish the new school supply price guide as soon as the Secretary approves the new price bulletin,” she added.
The Department of Education (DepEd) has so far logged the highest number of enrolled learners in Calabarzon (Region 4-A).
According to DepEd’s latest data, 2,116,809 learners were registered in the region’s provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon for the upcoming school year 2022-2023.
This accounted for over 10 percent of the national figure for enrollment of 14,284,778.
The National Capital Region (NCR) recorded the second highest count with more than 1.7 million enrollees, followed by Central Luzon with over 1.4 million.
Learners at the elementary level recorded the highest turnout with over 6.6 million, followed by enrollees from Junior High School with more than 4.6 million, then over 2.1 million learners in Senior High School, and 946,611 learners in Kindergarten.
Earlier, Education spokesperson Michael Poa noted that this year’s enrollment turnout was significantly higher than the previous school year, considering their approach to a gradual transitioning to in-person classes.
The DepEd assured the public that the majority of schools were prepared for face-to-face classes.
Meanwhile, the United Nations in the Philippines said Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte has been named national convener for an education conference that will be held by the UN nex month.
In a statement, the UN in the Philippines said “Duterte will lead the national consultations and ensure that consultations are inter-sectoral and multi-sectoral, inclusive and results-oriented” for the Transforming Education Summit (TES), to be held on Sept. 19 during the 77th UN General Assembly in New York.
The TES seeks to “elevate education to the top of the global political agenda and to maximize public awareness and engagement,” it said.
The summit offers an opportunity for an “inclusive” discussion on actions needed to “reverse” the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on SDG 4, the UN added.
SDG 4 is one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals that aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”