Mon. May 23rd, 2022

 The Department of Education (DepEd), the Department of Health (DOH), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) kicked off the BIDA Kid national campaign at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall to encourage learners, teachers, and education stakeholders to keep practicing Covid-19 health and safety guidelines in schools as well as public spaces.

Secretaries Francisco Duque III and Leonor Magtolis Briones (third and fourth from left), with USAID Philippines Mission Director Ryan Washburn (third from right), as well as partners from DepEd and the DOH.

“One of our utmost priorities is the safety of our learners amid the risk of Covid-19,” said Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones. “The BIDA Kid campaign is another whole-of-government initiative to encourage everyone to keep our children protected while we progressively reintroduce classroom-based learning.”

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and USAID Philippines Mission Director Ryan Washburn joined Briones to unveil the official music video and key visual of the campaign, which highlights the “3Bs:” bakuna (vaccination), bayanihan (solidarity), and BIDA behaviors.

The acronym BIDA stands for Best friend natin ang masks, Ingatan at hugasan ang kamay, Dumistansya upang maka-iwas sa sakit, Airflow ay panatilihin (Wear masks, observe hand washing plus social distancing to avoid getting sick, and maintain room airflow).

Duque reminded education stakeholders that “A safe school environment is crucial for our children’s development both academically and emotionally,” the health secretary said. “This is only possible if we continue to champion Covid-19 vaccination in our communities, and commit to practicing the minimum public-health standards everywhere and at all times.”

Washburn said “Face-to-face classes give students better motivation to study, having the opportunity to interact directly with their teachers and classmates. Classrooms offer a supportive environment for learning as well as social and emotional well-being.”

Meanwhile, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go joined the officials to intensify and properly implement the needed safety and health protocols in schools, “My dear Filipinos, let us not put our guards down. Indeed, the pandemic has been a great challenge for the education sector but as long as we remain disciplined, I am confident that we, as one nation, will defeat the health crisis we are facing today and we will soon return to normalcy.”

“Hinihimok ko pa rin ang gobyerno at mga school officials na siguraduhin ang kapakanan at kalusugan ng ating mga estudyante habang unti-unti na pong nagbubukas ang mga paaralan sa bansa. Sa ngayon, kalusugan at buhay ng mga estudyante ang aking prayoridad. Importante na tuluy-tuloy ang kanilang pag-aaral at hindi nailalagay sa panganib ang kanilang mga buhay,” Go added.

Senator Go once again urged the parents to let their eligible yet unvaccinated children participate in the national inoculation program, saying, “As the Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, I would like to encourage parents to let their children, especially those who are qualified, get inoculated immediately as this would not only boost their defenses against COVID-19 but would also keep their school environment safe.”

Earlier, the senator suggested that schools and colleges should be given additional support to host vaccine clinics to increase the vaccine coverage among the youth.

DepEd reported that as of April 4, 17,479 public and private schools were nominated by its regional offices to join the expansion of face-to-face classes.

The US Embassy said that about 10 million children have been vaccinated against Covid-19 via the “Resbakuna Kids” campaign, as the DOH continues to secure additional vaccine doses for them.

The BIDA Kid campaign, including BIDA kits, the music video, jingle, and key visual will be rolled out to all schools and DepEd offices. Those in the field are urged to display and develop localized materials to further amplify the campaign’s messages.

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