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DepEd will push for requiring brushing drills for students: VP Sara

According to Vice President Sara Duterte, the Department of Education (DepEd) plans to introduce mandatory toothbrush exercises for the 2024–2025 academic year.

Duterte, who is also the secretary of education, emphasized the value of dental health and raised awareness among students in a televised interview.

“We target to roll it out in the field in 2024 or 2025, but we’re targeting for the school year 2024-2025 to include that, parang mandatory toothbrush drill (but we’re targeting for 2024-2025 to include that, the mandatory toothbrush drill), because (because we’re here in) basic education,” she said.

According to Duterte, this plan is a component of the comprehensive program, which aims to shape the children’s character and general wellbeing.

“This is what we aim to do in terms of implementation; mayroon kaming kini-create na program ngayon na we intend to run parallel to the ROTC in higher education. This is one of the [things] we want to implement; we are currently developing a program that we intend to run in parallel with the ROTC in Higher Education. I said to them, “Ituturo namin dito life skills, service, values, dito sa basic education, kasama ‘yung good hygiene, kasama ‘yung toothbrush drills.” We are informing them that the subjects we will cover in the foundational education include proper hygiene (such as toothbrush drills), service, and values.

Given the harm that dental neglect can cause to children and adults, Duterte argued that maintaining good dental health is essential.

She mentioned what she had learned from her father, former President Rodrigo Duterte, and emphasized that tooth protection is a personal cause.

I don’t know if the world is aware of it, but President Duterte is the one guy who has very particular dental hygiene needs. That’s why subconsciously, I got it from PRD, plus the exposure in my job as a mayor, where I talked to dentists, and they always advocated that it is preventable, she said. “I’m sure of it; I got it from PRD, plus the exposure in my job as a mayor, where I talked to dentists, and they always advocated that it is preventable,” she continued.

In particular, Duterte makes reference to avoidable dental problems such as tooth decay, infection, and other effects of improper cleaning practices.

“If we only mentor our children, as they are so adaptable,… So that all youngsters have nicer grins, “kasi para lahat ng bata, maganda ang smile,” she remarked.

The distribution of dental kits with educational materials for good dental cleaning, together with informational campaigns on the subject, is a component of the dental drills suggested program.

VP Sara’s current campaign for pagbaBAGo includes the distribution of toothbrushes with toothbrush guidelines, one of her signature initiatives from her time as mayor of Davao City.

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