Brigada Eskwela, also known as the Bayanihan Para Sa Paaralan, is a nationwide voluntary effort of teachers, parents, students, community members, and other organizations to do minor repairs and clean-ups on their schools in preparation for the start of the school year.
This week-long event began in 2003 as part of the Oplan Balik Eskwela Program and National Maintenance Week of the Department of Education (DepEd). It encourages volunteers give out their time, effort, and even donate materials such as paint, cement, lumber and other materials, which could be used for minor repairs and building. Donations from local corporations and businesses are given in kind.
Minor repairs are usually done before the opening of classes. Maintenance work such as the repainting of the roof and exterior walls, repair of leaking water pipes, ceiling boards, broken furniture and windows, cleaning of toilets, and gardening are done by volunteers with the help of donations in kind from non-government organizations and corporations.
As early as February, school heads recruit volunteers who would participate in the brigade, by March, they would approach local businesses for donations, then organize work groups by April. It is usually held two weeks prior to every year's opening of classes.
Aside from promoting the spirit of volunteerism, since its launch, public schools have benefited in terms of their Community Maintenance and Operating Expenses (MOOE).
- 2003: 12,000 public schools (30% of all schools)
P392 million of community MOOE.
- 2004: 16,000 schools (38% of all schools)
P717.1 million community MOOE.
- 2005: 26,000 schools (62% of all schools)
Over P1 Billion community MOOE.
The brigade has saved the government the amount of P153.16 million in donations, services, and volunteer hours and in 2008, it saved the government about P2.9 billion.
- Office of the Press Secretary. (accessed on June 10, 2009).
- Eskwelahan. (accessed on June 10, 2009).
- Philippine Information Agency. (accessed on June 10, 2009).