Following the recommencement of the activities for the National Literacy Awards after its deferral last 2020 due to the threat caused by the pandemic, the Literacy Coordinating Council has proceeded with the validation of the literacy programs of the nominees for the Special Award of Excellence in Literacy (SAEL) category. The nomination for SAEL is given to local government units and non-government organizations that have been declared as NLA Hall of Fame Awardees after being three-time first placers of the regular search for the NLA. For this year’s NLA, the municipality of Cuyo, Palawan has been identified as one of the nominees alongside the City of Balanga, Bataan, and SULADS Philippines of Bukidnon.
With the objective to assess the sustainability of the implementation of the literacy programs of the Municipality of Cuyo, the team which consists of the members of the Board of Judges, namely, Ms. Aurea Jean A. Abad, Ms. Teresita D. Tetangco, and Ms. Ma. Cristina M. Gonzales, together with the LCC Secretariat personnel, Mr. Wilfredo A. Catangui and Ms. Marikka P. Mampusti, visited the municipality last July 5 to 12, 2022, and conducted in-person interviews and substantial dialogue with its local stakeholders.
Upon the validation’s team arrival on July 6, 2022, the municipality of Cuyo, Palawan has presented its literacy programs which will pave the way in realizing their practical vision that in 2030, Cuyo will be an ecotourism destination in Palawan, with God-fearing, resilient, culture-loving and empowered citizenry living in a peaceful and sustainable environment with diversified and progressive economy, efficient and safe infrastructure facilities and utilities governed by transparent and dynamic leaders. The municipality aims to actualize this vision through their flagship program, Kakampi, that stands for Kalusugan at Kultura, Agrikultura, Kontra Katiwalian, Aktibong Serbisyo, Malinis at Maayos na Kapaligiran, Programang Pang-Edukasyon at Pangkabuhayan, at Imprastraktura.
In the succeeding days, the validation team has gone around the municipality and visited schools, community learning centers, and barangays. This has allowed them to sit down with the stakeholders and assess the sustainability of the implementation of the literacy programs after they were hailed as a Hall of Famer in 2017. During the validation, the Board of Judges were able to take note of the strong areas of the municipality that make them worthy of being a SAEL aspirant. This includes the strong support of the local government unit in response to the needs of its education stakeholders, embracing digital transformation and managing learning through alternative learning modalities such as radio-based instruction, prioritization of building new infrastructures, the establishment of the Revitalized Agricultural Center that strengthens the engagement of residents in growing vegetables and fruit trees, and lastly, the provision of livelihood opportunities through projects purposefully made for Cuyonon islanders who reside in the coastal areas.
On the last day of the activity, the validators were able to share the observable good practices of the municipality as well their recommendations on how the local government unit can further improve the implementation of its literacy programs. The Literacy Coordinating Council treats this endeavor with high regard as it solidifies its vision to recognize the efforts and significant contributions of the LGUs in universalizing literacy in the country. It also warmly extends its gratitude to the DepEd Regional Office of the Local Government Unit of Cuyo, Palawan, DepEd Regional Office of MIMAROPA, the local stakeholders of Cuyo, Palawan, and other involved individuals who made the conduct of this activity successful.
Awarding of winners for the Special Award of Excellence in Literacy category and the regular search for the 2022 National Literacy Awards will be held in October this year. The LCC looks forward to the engagement of everyone involved in this endeavor as it fulfills its goal to bestow honor and recognition to outstanding LGUs and NGOs for their dedication, commitment, and contribution to the eradication of illiteracy in their respective communities.