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It was during a Parent Teacher Community Association (PTCA) meeting that 56-year-old farmer Eulaliot Baluyos found out that Lantawan Elementary School needed a water source to conduct two activities under the Department of Education’s Essential Health Care Program (EHCP) – daily group handwashing with soap and toothbrushing with fluoride.
It was also during that PTCA meeting when Baluyos, a resident of barangay Lantawan in San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur, realized that the water spring located on his 8-hectare agricultural property could be an excellent water source.
Baluyos' farm is a kilometer away from the school, or about 45 minutes on foot. To connect to the water spring, the PTCA and barangay officials raised funds to purchase water pipes to divert part of the flow of the spring to the wash stands of the school.
When asked why he volunteered to offer his property as a source of water for the school, he replied in the local dialect, “I was blessed with this water spring and I also would like to share these blessings to my community.”
District Supervisor Jessie Tanol, who also attended the PTCA meeting and EHCP orientation, said that the Lantawan Elementary School is a community known for its spirit of volunteerism where residents readily offer their assistance to the school.
“That is why [Lantawan Elementary School] will host the next District Conference in March 1-2 so our neighboring schools will be able to see the school’s stakeholders’ accomplishments that led to the success of the EHCP program,” Tanola said.
The District Conference will gather 140 school heads and teachers to showcase how EHCP implementation has contributed to lesser cases of absenteeism in the said school.
With water available 24 hours a day, schoolchildren can now brush their teeth and wash their hands on a daily basis – simple yet effective preventive measures against the leading child-related diseases in the country. Combined with twice yearly deworming, DepEd's EHCP prevents dental carries, diarrhea, worm infection, and respiratory diseases, which greatly impacts a child’s wellbeing and academic performance.
EHCP in Zamboanga del Sur was made possible through the leadership of DepEd and the support of UNICEF and Fit for School. DepEd, through the Health and Nutrition Center, led the planning, monitoring, and implementation of the program. UNICEF provided the kick-start materials for Lantawan Elementary School, which included toothbrush, soap, and bottled toothpaste. Fit for school, a non-government organization, provided capacity building to DepED school heads and health personnel in the province of Zamboanga del Sur.
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Farmer Eulaliot Baluyos is an example of the spirit of volunteerism that is shared in Barangay Lantawan, as described by Zamboanga del Sur DepEd District Supervisor Jessie Tanol


It was during a Parent Teacher Community Association (PTCA) meeting that 56-year-old farmer Eulaliot Baluyos found out that Lantawan Elementary School needed a water source to conduct two activities under the Department of Education’s Essential Health Care Program (EHCP) – daily group handwashing with soap and toothbrushing with fluoride.

It was also during that PTCA meeting when Baluyos, a resident of barangay Lantawan in San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur, realized that the water spring located on his 8-hectare agricultural property could be an excellent water source.

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When Curvada Elementary School's principal Roseller Ligutan found out that his school was chosen as one of the 32 model schools for the implementation of the Department of Education's Essential Health Care Program (EHCP) in the province of Zamboanga del Sur, he knew that his next challenge was to look for a water source necessary for the daily handwashing and toothbrushing activities under the program.
Due to the elevated terrain of the barangay where the school is located, access to water is very scarce and most residents have to invest in expensive deep wells for their water supply.
Knowing the scale of the project -- construction of deep well, electric water pump, elevated tank, wash stand, and piping system -- was something he could not do alone, Ligutan sought the support of his co-actors in the implementation of the program in the community, the Parents Teachers Community Association (PTCA) and the barangay officials.
Ligutan and his school nurse presented the program during a PTCA assembly composed of parents who are mostly rice farmers. They shared that the daily exposure of the schoolchildren to handwashing with soap and toothbrushing with fluoride could help establish hygiene habits that can prevent diarrhea, respiratory infection, and intestinal worms -- the three diseases that affect a child's wellbeing and academic performance. Combined with twice yearly deworming, which is also part of the program, schoolchildren gain access to simple yet effective preventive methods against sickness.
Almost six months after the initial proposal of the program, the community, with the help of the barangay council, was able to raise Php 70,000 for the materials needed for construction. Even with the water source now in place, the parents and the local partners continue to provide resources for the improvement and maintenance of the wash facilities used daily by the pupils for their EHCP activities.
"It is really important for parents and the barangay council to understand the impact of the EHCP because if they understand the project well, they are very helpful in putting up this project," said Ligutan, commenting on the strong partnership of the school and the community.
“In my 28 years working with DepED, EHCP for me is one of DepED’s best innovative programs that would have lasting positive impact in the health of our school children,” he added.
EHCP in Curvada Elementary School was made possible through the leadership of DepED and the support of UNICEF and Fit for School. UNICEF, and Fit for School. DepEd, through the Health and Nutrition Center, led the planning, monitoring, and implementation of the program. UNICEF provided the kick-start materials for the school, which included toothbrush, soap, and bottled toothpaste. Fit for school, a non-government organization, provided capacity building to DepED school heads and health personnel in the province of Zamboanga del Sur.
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DepED Health Personnel headed by School Dentist Isabelo Manzo, Curvada ES teaching staff and Fit for School Regional Project Officer Noel Tarrazona pose at the elevated tank that supplies daily water for the school children’s daily handwasing and toothbrushing


When Curvada Elementary School's principal Roseller Ligutan found out that his school was chosen as one of the 32 model schools for the implementation of the Department of Education's Essential Health Care Program (EHCP) in the province of Zamboanga del Sur, he knew that his next challenge was to look for a water source necessary for the daily handwashing and toothbrushing activities under the program.

Due to the elevated terrain of the barangay where the school is located, access to water is very scarce and most residents have to invest in expensive deep wells for their water supply.

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An Essential Health Care Program (EHCP) model school in the district of San Miguel Municipality in Zamboanga del Sur will host the next Department of Education's (DepEd) district conference that will gather 130 principals, public school teachers, barangay leaders, and school partners.
DepED District Supervisor Jessie Tanola made this announcement last January 29, 2013 during the joint DepED-Fit for School capacity development orientation on EHCP held in Lantawan Elementary School. Participants included barangay officials, teachers, and Parents Teachers Community Association (PTCA) officers.
Tanola said that he decided to choose Lantawan Elementary School to showcase the importance of school-community collaborative partnership especially in implementing school programs for school children.
The school, located almost an-hour drive from its nearest city Pagadian, has been implementing EHCP for more than two years. EHCP is DepED’s national flagship program that aims to reduce and prevent child-related diseases by institutionalizing twice yearly deworming as well as daily toothbrushing and handwashing as part of class activities.
Tanola shares that the source of the school’s water supply was offered by 56-year-old farmer Eulalio Baluyos. The water is generated from a water spring located on Baluyos’ 8-hectare farmland. This source of water has allowed 154 pupils to brush their teeth and wash their hands everyday -- simple yet effective measures that could save schoolchildren from dental caries, diarrhea, worm infections, and respiratory diseases.
“Eulalio Baluyos has played an important role in making EHCP a reality in this model school and we would like to showcase this initiative to other neighboring schools,” Tanola said.
DepED’s district offices convene their principals and teachers regularly to treat issues and concerns arising from public elementary schools in the district and this March conference will include a short EHCP training course for principals, school nurses, and teachers of the district.  The EHCP training course will be facilitated by Fit for School, a Philippine non-government organization that aids DepEd’s EHCP through technical support and capacity development.
EHCP in Zamboanga del Sur was made possible through the leadership of DepEd and with the support of UNICEF through the provision of kick-start materials (toothbrush, bottled toothpaste, soap) and Fit for School.zambosur_modelschool_website
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DepED officials led by Jessie Tanola pose for a souvenir photo at the EHCP wash stand of Lantawan Elementary School in preparation for DepED's District Conference scheduled on March 1. The District Conference will also include in the discussion EHCP updates and how to implement EHCP correctly.


An Essential Health Care Program (EHCP) model school in the district of San Miguel Municipality in Zamboanga del Sur will host the Department of Education's (DepEd) district conference on March 1 and 2, which will gather 130 principals, public school teachers, barangay leaders, and school partners.

DepED District Supervisor Jessie Tanola made this announcement during a joint DepED-Fit for School capacity development orientation on EHCP held in Lantawan Elementary School. Participants included barangay officials, teachers, and Parents Teachers Community Association (PTCA) officers.

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