Malinao cops illuminate grade school dream

MALINAO, ALBAYNot even the dark can dim two pupils' desire to learn.

Accompanied by their father, 13-year-old Clarisse Rejano Bonaobra, and 11-year-old Jennilyn Rejano Bonaobra, of Balza Elementary Schoo, do their schoolwork by the light of streetlamps near the municipal building. Their home, a small shanty in the middle of a rice field, is roughly a kilometer away.

With no access to electricity in their home, they have to make do with what is available, even if it entails a lot of sacrifice.

Their father, who is a single parent, has no fixed income, so the sisters have to make sure that they finish their studies and get a good job in order to pull their family out of poverty.

Officers of the Malinao Municipal Police Station and the Public Safety Batallion (PSB) Officer of Barangay Bagumbayan discovered the situation as they were doing the evening rounds in the village.

In an interview with BICOL STANDARD, Police Senior Inspector Arthur R. Gomez, Officer-in-Charge of PNP Malinao, narrated that even on rainy nights, they would see the children trying to do their homework by the lights of the town hall.

Touched by their sheer determination, PSI Gomez and his team decided to lighten the load of the family. They launched an initiative called "Ilaw Ko, Kinabukasan Mo," as part of their commitment to serve the community.

The group approached residents of the barangay, telling them the poignant story of the children who would not be deterred by their condition. Many were moved. Eventually, they were able to raise enough money to purchase a rechargeable lamp.

PSI Gomez, SPO4 Jesus C. Carullo, MESPO and and PO2 Ma. Joy P. Casin, the PSB officer assigned at Barangay Bagumbayan, personally handed the lamp to the family at their residence.

“With the lamp, they would not have to go outside at night just do study their lessons,” PSI Gomez explained.

“We also talked with people from the town hall, the barangay hall, and the school, to allow the children to charge the lamp in their offices during the day. They can even charge the lamp in our own police station,” he said.

“The service of police personnel to the community is not limited to peacekeeping and law enforcement. It embraces all kinds of compassionate services.  Among them is helping deserving individuals who do not use poverty as a reason for not dreaming for a brighter future. Instead, they are resourceful enough to make use of available resources to reach their dreams,” he added.

As the community marvels at their example, Gomez promised that their advocacy will not end with this story.

“We will strive to continue looking for deserving recipients,” he vowed.


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