ALANGALANG, Leyte — Faced with numerous young students who drop out of school due to accessibility and poverty problems, Alangalang town in central Leyte is taking a creative approach to resolve it — provide a shuttle service or give free bicycles to the students.
Since buying a vehicle that will ferry the students every day may be a costly solution, the local government unit had to come up with an enterprising, inexpensive but effective resolve: They hired the services of habal-habal drivers to pick the students from their respective houses to school and back as a way to help drivers have a steady monthly income.
The program called “Libreng Sakay” aims to stop students who are on the verge of dropping out from finally stopping at the middle of school. It started only this school year when its new local chief executive Mayor Lovely Yu was elected.
The municipal government has also bought bicycles, through the support of a civic club, for students who live in sitios that are not accessible to motorcycles and those who live along the carline but walks for kilometers to go to school.
“We want to reduce dropout rate, if possible, down to zero,” says Lizer Peralta, program coordinator of “Libreng Sakay.”