TACLOBAN CITY – Mayor Lovell Yu-Castro of Alangalang, Leyte announced that more students from her town will benefit from the distribution of bicycles through the ‘Libreng Sakay’ Program initiated by the municipal government.

Mayor Yu-Castro stated that she has already signed a purchase request to initiate a bidding process for the acquisition of additional bicycles, which will be allocated to Learners at Risk of Dropping Out (LARDO).

The identification of beneficiaries for the program involved collaboration with school officials from Alangalang, including district supervisors, central school principals, and secondary school heads.

Initially, the municipal government distributed 117 bicycles using the 2023 Local Council for the Protection of Children (LCPC) Fund. The plan now is to procure an additional set of bicycles using the 2024 LCPC budget.

The municipality aims to distribute more than 100 bicycles to LARDOs studying in elementary and secondary schools with reported cases of dropouts.

Mayor Yu-Castro explained, “Our dropout rate varies across districts, with some having only one or two dropouts, while others, like one high school, have more than 20 dropouts, including our night high school.”

“We are particularly focusing on schools with high dropout rates, such as Alangalang Agro-Industrial School and Alangalang Night High School, to assist students in returning to their studies and reaffirm their commitment to education,” she added.

During a stakeholders’ appreciation meeting held by the Department of Education Leyte Division last November, Alangalang Night High School was identified as one of the schools requiring intervention due to an increasing dropout rate.

Common reasons cited for students discontinuing their education include job searching, lack of interest, poverty, relocation, and family issues.

To address dropout cases, the DepEd Leyte suggests providing free transportation as one of the interventions that local government units (LGUs) can implement.