MANILA, Philippines – To help fight illiteracy, the Department of
Education (DepEd) will be distributing free pencils to thousands of
Grade 1 pupils in Luzon and Visayas starting this month until early
During the turnover of one million pencils given by Newell
Rubbermaid, the makers of Mongol brand of pencils to the DepEd on
Tuesday in Aurora Quezon Elementary School in San Andres Street, Malate,
Manila, Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro said that poverty has
certainly taken its toll on education, making it hard for parents to
send their children to school and making it even harder for the
department to achieve its Education For All commitment to the world.
“With these free pencils, we are certainly taking a step towards
making our goal a reality because these are among our kids’ basic weapon
against illiteracy,” Luistro explained.
Newell Rubbermaid, through the United States Embassy in Manila,
headed by US Ambassador Harry Thomas, donated a total of one million
pieces of Mongol pencils through the DepEd, Boy Scouts of the
Philippines (BSP), and United States Agency for International
With this partnership, DepEd, through its Adopt-A-School Program,
will receive a third of the pencils for distribution to selected grade 1
pupils in Luzon and Visayas while the remaining two-thirds will be
turned over to BSP and USAID for distribution in other areas nationwide.
Luistro said that because of poverty, a major challenge of DepEd is
the participation and completion rates of students. He admitted that
this will be unreachable without the support of all education
“We at DepEd have been looking into different possibilities and
strategies to be able to increase participation and completion rates of
our students and to address all education backlogs. Hence, we thank
Newell Rubbermaid and the US Embassy for these pencils, and more
importantly, for supporting Philippine basic education,” said Luistro.
“Like what we always say, education is everybody’s business and not just the government’s.”
At P6 each, the pencil donation of Newell Rubbermaid to DepEd amounts to about P1,980,000.
Present during the turnover ceremony were US Ambassador Harry Thomas,
BSP Chairman Jose Eduardo Delgado, Education Undersecretaries Lino
Rivera and Francis Varela, representatives from Asia-Pacific Regional
Sub-Committees of the BSP, representatives from Newell Rubbermaid, and
Manila City government officials.
Source: Manila Bulletin, Ina Hernando-Malipot, 11-08-2010