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It’s for the Kids June 19, 2007

Posted by Janjan in All, Legally Opinionated and Jurisprudent.
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EDUCATION CRISIS DEEPENS.

That is the headline spelled out by the June 4, 2007 edition of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, which boldly declared that our country is facing a serious educational systems breakdown and crisis.

The article reports that out of 10 students entering Grade 1, 6 of these will complete the elementary course, 4 will get through high school and 2 will enter college. It is not even known if these 2 who enter college will go on to graduate, or get employed.

According to official statistics made by the Department of Education, our country needs to hire, build and acquire 16,390 teachers, 6,406 classrooms, 2.4 million chairs and 11.9 textbooks. Nationwide, 267 barangays do not have elementary schools to educate their children.

In the Philippines, over 4 million children are victims of child labor and half of them are exposed to hazardous conditions; about 100,000 children are abused every year; 300,000 children roam the streets; 3 out of 10 drop out of elementary school; and 1 out of 5 has a form of disability.

You and I are privileged in the sense that we went to good schools and universities back when we were kids. We were given chances that underprivileged children will never get. We had allowances and baon, drivers who would bring us to school, and parents who could afford to buy us the latest notebooks which had the faces of our favorite cartoon characters and artistas. We will never know what it’s like to carry your own chair to school. We will never know what it’s like to skip going to school for one semester just so that we could work and send our younger siblings to elementary.

I think it’s good if we gave something back to show how grateful we are for the opportunities that other children never had. You can give time, money and resources… every little bit counts.

For example, little people like you and me who cannot afford to give lavishly, nor spend time on other people, can get involved in small ways that won’t hurt the wallet. We can subscribe to Unicef’s 2800 text program. For P2.50 a week, your donation can go a long way towards combating illiteracy and providing funds and resources to poor but deserving schools. Now imagine if let’s say 2 million Filipinos subscribed to this service, that’s P5 million weekly going to our poor school children. All that from P2.50 which you will forego from sending corny forwards and answering “k” to a question.

If you a feel a lot more generous, you could also participate in the Ayala Foundation’s Children’s Hour program. Think about it, how much of your time is really spent for work? You take a paid 15 minute coffee break, twice a day for 30 minutes. You spend 5 minutes booting on your computer, 10 minutes in the comfort room, and another 15 minutes getting ready to leave the office. That’s one hour spent doing nothing which you are getting paid for. Why not at least donate that one hour for these children? That’s one hour of your time that you can spend to make a difference. For Cebuanos, the Children’s Hour donation box is located right in front of the Ayala Cinema ticket booth.

There’s also your coins and your pocket change. When you eat at fastfood establishments, or buy office supplies from National Bookstore, chances are you will be given a very heavy load of coins as change for your purchases. Why not lighten your pockets, wallets and hearts and give those coins to charity? McDonald’s has a small dropbox that goes to its Foundation, which uses the proceeds thereof to build homes and provides funds for public schools. Orange Brutus has a tin can that’s used for a children’s cancer foundation. National Bookstore has the same tin can for the Bantay Bata program.

Do you have a book at home that you don’t read anymore? Perhaps old editions of National Geographic or Reader’s Digest that’s taking up space and being a fire hazard? Textbooks from the time you were still in Grade 5? Believe it or not, some child out there would love to get their hands on those books and magazines that you don’t want anymore. Go to the nearest SM department store and participate in the SM Foundation’s Donate-A-Book program. This campaign has collected 2,287,964 books from generous tenants, shoppers, schools and publishing companies through the Donate-A-Book campaign. These books were distributed to 8,660 public high schools, elementary, provincial and barangay libraries, as well as Day Care Centers nationwide. Cash donations will also go to the different government-run day care centers to help them upgrade their facilities and improve their educational materials. Cash donors may opt to deposit their donations at Banco De Oro Account No. 15000 70694.

Or maybe you are a pious churchgoer who is zealous about lighting candles to pray for your petitions? Instead of using that money to light crudely-made candles that burn out after 5 minutes, why not let your prayer be heard by lighting a flame in some poor child’s soul? For instance, in Redemptorist Church here in Cebu City, there’s a big wooden box right beside the icon of St. Therese of Lisieux (the little Child of Jesus), which goes to the Sick and the Poor. Part of this money will also be used by the Redemptorists to provide scholarships for deserving poor children. Indeed, the Lord said that nothing pleases Him more than a sinner who gives with a joyous heart. It helps burn off all the weight you acquired from years of accumulated sin.

Perhaps you’re the manager of a small or medium-sized business entity. Or even better, perhaps you’re the COO of a large family business. (COO is short for “Child of Owner”). Maybe you’re thinking of donating something but you’re worried that donations are bad for business. It doesn’t have to be so! In fact, the government passed a tax law in 2003 that allows you to get a 150% tax deduction to donations made to public schools in the government’s Adopt-a-School program. That means that for every peso you donate to the public school, the government will allow you to deduct P1.50 off from your gross income, which will be used in computing your taxes. In effect, instead of using this money to pay your taxes (which I know you hate to do), you could instead help a needy child to go to school and deprive some greedy politician out of his pork barrel at the same time.

It takes only one peso of our money, one hour of our wasted time, one book that we won’t use anymore, to make a difference in one child’s life. Make that difference today and give that child a shot at the opportunities that we were given when we were growing up. Let’s, you and I, get involved in sending a child to school!

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Comments»

1. Arizona home Owner Insurance - June 29, 2007

Thanks for the tip about the Donate a Book program. I will check into that. I have a garage full of books.

2. northwolf - June 29, 2007

Please do send them over this way 🙂 Thanks!

3. Mark - July 15, 2007

I check the Donate a Book Program.


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