The Local Government Unit (LGU) of Ubay recently launched the country’s first ever Alternative Learning System – Basic Education and Skills Training (ALS-BEST) on Dairy Buffalo Production.
ALS, being the flagship program of the Department of Education (DepEd), provides a viable mechanism to reach Filipino youth as well as adults who are unable to access or who have dropped out from formal schooling.
“This ALS-BEST is a modified ALS system that aims to produce completers who are not only able to catch up with basic education, but have also acquired technical competencies suitable for immediate employment,” said Mario Limocon, Project Focal Person of the LGU during the launching program on June 8, 2019.
The municipality of Ubay, being the only LGU proponent of the program, selected the Dairy Buffalo Production as the skills training to be married with the system. This was after the result of series of consultation-workshops with different stakeholders in the town. The presence of Philippine Carabao Center at Ubay Stock Farm (PCC@USF) and its established programs and outputs helped a lot to hasten the drafting of the project proposal.
Gaudioso Calibugan, Agriculturist II of PCC@USF and one of the skills facilitators, said that carrying out the ALS-BEST program is very timely coinciding with the implementation of PCC’s Farmers Livestock School on Dairy Buffalo Production or FLS-DBP, of which he said, will be the guiding module for the skills training.
FLS-DBP, which originated from the PCC national headquarters, is a learning modality that offers technology options to farmers. It includes topics focused on dairy buffalo raising, feeding and health management, milk and meat processing, waste management and financial management. It is participatory, hands-on and interactive and conducted right at the farmers’ locality.
“Originally, this FLS-DBP runs for more than 30 weeks, just in time when the academic requirements of the ALS module are completed,” Calibugan added.
The ALS-BEST project is a collaborative effort with a total budget of Php2.7 million. The DepEd ALS- Office of the Secretary allocated an amount of Php1,074,645. This was transferred to the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) then to the proponent. The remaining Php1.6 million is shared among LGU-Ubay, PCC@USF, and DepEd-Bohol.
“There are 50 enrollees for this project coming from the different barangays in Ubay. They are out-of school-youths and adults who have not finished nor entered high school and with at least one carabao to start off,” Limocon said.
“Aside from the academic lectures and skills training, it also has values and life skills interventions such as sports activities, festival of talents, anti-drugs campaign, HIV/AIDS awareness, and lectures on climate change mitigation, risk reduction and management, and GAD/Child trafficking,” he added.
Hon. Constantino Reyes, the municipal mayor of Ubay, expressed his full support, through Edwin Reyes, who represented him during the launching activity, as he believed that this effort could alleviate the livelihood of the Ubayanos.
On the other hand, Dr. Gundolino P. Bajenting, officer in-charge of PCC@USF, challenged the learners to do their best especially in ensuring their 100% attendance to all the sessions and maximize this privilege not just for their own sake but for their contribution later on to the local dairy industry once they start milking.
Assisting Limocon and Calibugan in the implementation of this project are: Amalia Cutamora of LGU as the admin assistant; Romeo Mariño and Rocelita Soria, ALS teachers; Elsa Hingpit of DepEd-Bohol; Leinefe L. Aton and Dr. Bernard Bacule, FLS accredited facilitators of PCC; Annabelle Jayco and Marissa Tuazon, staffs of Sustainability and Participation Through Education and Lifelong Learning (SPELL); Maxwell Cutamora of LGU Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO); David Cutamora and Benedicto Bicada of ALSC; staff from Philippine National Police (PNP) – Ubay; and other values and life skill resource persons which will be identified later on.