Exactly a week before classes in public schools start, the Department of Education (DepEd) partnered with various government agencies and organizations from the private sector for the national launch of the “Oplan Balik Eskwela” (OBE) 2022.
“With the launch of the OBE despite the Covid-19 pandemic and other challenges that have come our way, we are confident and we assert that our success here will only be replicated in our next endeavors,” said DepEd Undersecretary for Governance and Field Operations Revsee Escobedo during the 2022 OBE launch on Monday, Aug. 15.
The national OBE 2022 launch gathered 17 agencies that will perform a critical role by providing guidelines on health and safety, peace and order, and transportation, among others when the school year opens.
Escobedo said that the command conference among DepEd officials, partner agencies from the public and private sectors, and other stakeholders aims to “ensure the readiness of the academic community” when classes for School year (SY) 2022-2023 start on Aug. 22.
The OBE is an annual initiative of DepEd to engage agencies, organizations, and other stakeholders in preparation for the opening of the school year. It will run from Aug. 15 to 26, 2022.
Escobedo explained that the OBE is part of the DepEd’s effort to ensure that learners from public and private schools are “properly enrolled” and it aims to address problems, queries, and other concerns commonly encountered by the public at the start of the school year.
With the theme “Kapit-Bisig Para sa Mas Ligtas na Balik-Aral,” Escobedo said that the OBE 2022 will highlight convergence as the partner agencies become members of the OBE Inter-Agency Task Force.
The members of the said task force will focus on their respective preparations and initiatives for the gradual transition of schools to five days in-person classes starting Nov. 2.
Representatives from the Department of Energy (DOE); Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG); Department of Health (DOH); Department of National Defense (DND); Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH); Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD); Department of Trade and Industry (DTI); Department of Transportation (DOTr); Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT); Manila Electric Company (MERALCO); Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS); Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA); Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA); Philippine National Police (PNP); National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC); National Telecommunications Commission (NTC); and Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) presented their initiatives related to the school opening and reiterated their commitment to helping DepEd in ensuring the safe resumption of face-to-face classes.
In his presentation, Dr. Alfonso Miguel Regala from the Health Promotion Bureau of the Department of Health (DOH) gave updates on the facilitation of vaccination and the need to ensure school safety through continued practice of the minimum health standards.
Meanwhile, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil assured that the DOTr was highly supportive of school opening — noting that 130 routes have been recommended for retention or modification.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), on the other hand, said that 2, 238 MMDA personnel will be deployed for the school opening. A total of 581 traffic enforcers will also be dispatched to 146 schools.
DepEd Undersecretary and Chief of Staff Epimaco Densing III thanked the partner agencies for their cooperation and participation in the OBE 2022.
“Gusto natin ng kaayusan sa hamon na gusto nating tahakin dahil malawakang pagbubukas na ito ng klase — maging pribado o pampubliko (We want to put things in order in this challenge we want to take because this is a massive opening of classes — whether private or public),” he added.