Some 60 students in a remote village in Batac City, Ilocos Norte received post-Valentine treats from the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Saturday.
The cops distributed learning kits, pairs of slippers, and tents in Barangay Sumader, a rural village in the fifth-class city inhabited by less than 2,000 people.
Since the pandemic began in March last year, students in remote areas nationwide have been having a difficult time coping with the so-called new normal.
When going around the province to monitor the implementation of the distance learning program, Rolen Oracion, principal of San Nicolas Elementary School, saw how learners in depressed areas grapple with poor communication and Internet signals, as well as the lack of gadgets and other essentials, such as pens and paper.
Oracion said they were thankful for supportive donors such as the PNP members who participated in the 5th Master Gian Abad Shoot for a Cause that was held at the Armscor North Philippines Firing Range in Barangay San Lorenzo in San Nicolas on February 13 and 14.
Proceeds from the event helped fund the gift-giving activity.
“We chose the learners of Sumader to be included among the school supplies’ beneficiaries as we have seen how they try their best to learn outside the school,” she said.
Oracion said some kids climb up mountains and trees in search of stable signals during their graded recitations or if they need to connect to the Internet for research.
With the limited movement of people and closure of several businesses, Josephine Guiang, village chief of Sumader, said they still feel the effects of the pandemic.
M/Sgt. Noel Abad of the Ilocos Norte 1st Provincial Mobile Force Company (PMFC) that initiated and organized the event said he would never get tired of helping children to achieve their dreams.
“I was once like them. With the many people who lifted me when I was down, God gave me this chance to give back and honor Him,” Abad said.
Under the supervision of Lt. Col. Marceliano Desamito Jr., force commander of the Ilocos Norte 1st PMFC, and in coordination with the Department of Education and local officials, the group pledged to help more.
They will visit other remote areas to promote peace and increase police visibility.
A tree-planting program coincided with the gift-giving activity in support of the nationwide “Pulis Makakalikasan” program where each cop must plant at least 10 fruit-bearing or indigenous tree seedlings per semester. (PNA)