The Department of Education (DepEd) has recognized schools and divisions from all around the nation for their excellent endeavor to maintain adequate sanitation through its partnership with Unilever Philippines and germ-killing specialist Domex.
Two school divisions and five schools were honored with Eskwelang Unstoppable Awards during a ceremony held on November 15 at the DepEd Central Office in Pasig City.
Based on the data obtained from the DepEd’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Schools (WinS) monitoring report for school year 2021-2022. the City of Navotas won as Best School Division, garnering the highest score on select sanitation indicators in DepEd’s WinS monitoring. Bislig City of CARAGA Region won as Most Improved School Division, showing the highest change in the total score for the same sanitation indicators across 2 school years. Bangkulasi Elementary School, Dagat-Dagatan Elementary School, Navotas Elementary School, Filemon T. Lizan Senior High School and Bangkulasi Senior High School were awarded from the winning Best School Division as Best SDO-Model Schools as they showed exemplary practice in keeping their schools clean and germ-free.
“This is an important partnership for Unilever and we’re very much honored because this initiative has helped our schools become a safer and better avenue for the youth to develop a clean school environment,” says Unilever Communications and Corporate Affairs Head Ed Sunico says in a statement. “We hope to get everyone’s help throughout the year and in more to come so that we can maintain this standard across all schools nationwide.”
DepEd Undersecretary for Legislative Affairs and Partnerships Gerard Chan highlighted the challenges faced by the public throughout the ongoing school year, and how key partners like Unilever and Domex have helped the government implement the Comprehensive WinS Program. The program aims to provide clean water, usable and clean toilets, and proper hygiene practice in schools which are essential to achieving learning outcomes and are integral to keeping learners safe and healthy.
“We at the Department of Education recognize everyone’s concern over the health and safety of our learners within and beyond the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. As learning shifted from classrooms to homes in the last 2 years, we have witnessed the entire school community, including all partners and stakeholders, come together to support our learners as they continue engaging in distance learning. And now, as we transition to 100% in-person learning, we are fortunate to have the unwavering support of our partners amidst this unprecedented time,” shares the Undersecretary.
Immanuel Gebhardt, Country Director for the Philippines for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the German government’s development agency that oversees international development cooperation for sustainable development, attended the event as well. He expressed the organization’s commitment to assist in providing local schools with supportive tools for proper sanitation with a focus on the operation and maintenance of sanitation facilities.
Unilever and Domex Brand Manager Regina Ocampo closed the event and expressed gratitude for the partnership between Unilever, Domex, DepEd, and GIZ. “We are whole-heartedly grateful that despite current challenges, we are still able to make this partnership thrive and continue to serve Filipino schools nationwide so that every student will have access to a clean school, especially usable and clean toilets, to help them become the future of this country,” says Ocampo.
The Eskwelang Unstoppable Awards was done ahead of World Toilet Day on November 19, which aims to raise awareness for the 3.6 billion people around the globe who do not have access to safely managed sanitation.