Library on wheels program launched in Liloan
Liloan police initiative to strengthen ties with children, community
CEBU CITY, Philippines – A police mobile car that was converted into a mini-library was parked at the gymnasium of the Suba Elementary School in Barangay Poblacion in Liloan town on Tuesday, June 27.
Children, who were assisted by a policewoman, started to browse the different books that were on display on the shelf of the mobile library.
It was the first trip for the “Mobile Library and Bible on Wheels” of the Liloan Police Station.
Police Major Eric Gingoyon, chief of the Liloan Police Station, said he hopes to see the mobile library visit more schools and serve more children in the coming days.
The mobile library program was a recreation of the project that Gingoyon first launched in February 2022 when he was still commander of the Carmen Police Station in Carmen town in northern Cebu. It was the first library on wheels project that was launched in Central Visayas.
He brought the program during his transfer to Liloan town to teach young students and residents to love books and reading and provide them with free bibles that they could use.
Strengthen police relations
Gingoyon said that working closely with the children was also a means to strengthen police relations with the community that they serve.
“Hopefully, mudagan ang panahon nga magsige mig conduct og mobile library, ang mga bata, dili na mahadlok sa kapulisan,” Gingoyon said in a brief message which he delivered during the official launch of the mobile library program.
The police station’s mobile library project was in coordination with the local government of Liloan, Department of Education (DepEd), Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Liloan, various religious denominations, other government agencies, and stakeholders.
Liloan Mayor Aljew Frasco and Police Lieutenant Colonel Tomas Santander Jr., deputy director for administration of the Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO), led the official launch of the town’s “Mobile Library and Bible on Wheels” program.
They were also joined by Gingoyon and other town officials.
In his message, Santander expressed hope that the program would help change the mindset of the children and start to “inculcate in the minds of children that police officers are their Kuyas and Ates and be able to erase their fear [of the men and women in uniform].”
Power of literature
For his part, Frasco said that the mobile library program was created to help in the education and spiritual development of their children.
“Atong nacombine ang power of literature and the spirit of mobility. Tungod niini, mahimong mas sayon ang paghatag og knowledge and inspiration didto sa atoang mga kaigsoonan ug sa atoang mga kabatan-unan diri sa atong lingsod sa Liloan,” he said.
Frasco said the project will not only “empower them (children) to be able to read, but also to empower them to have the freedom to grow, to imagine, and to create a better future.”
Pupils at the Suba Elementary School were the first to experience the use of Liloan’s mobile library that was parked in a portion of their gymnasium on Tuesday.
Liloan police and its partners also prepared games and other activities for the children to enjoy while town officials helped in the distribution of bibles to the children.
“It’s very much beneficial to the learners, to the youth, especially the out-of-school youth. And of course to the parents, especially those living in the far-flung areas. It will enhance and improve their spiritual aspects,” says Lorna Longakit, principal of Suba Elementary School.
Frasco said education was a priority of his administration, the reason why the local government was supportive of their police station’s mobile library program.
He said that the program also has the support of officials of the 14 barangays in Liloan.
According to Frasco, the mobile library would be visiting the barangays twice a month and would stay in a particular area for two hours to allow children time to read books.
In addition, they would also organize other learning activities for the children like story telling and gospel reading.
While they wait, parents and guardians would also be given the opportunity to learn about existing laws, especially those that protect women and their children against abuses like Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence against Women and their Children Act,” Republic Act 7610 or the “Anti-Child Abuse law” and the Revised Rule on Children in Conflict with the Law.
Fransco hopes to expand the project in the coming days to reach more beneficiaries.
“I think kani nga program karon nag-una lang ni sa mga bata and motakod na nya sa ni sa mga teens na ug sa kung kinsa tong ganahan jud mobasa. Kay kahibaw man ta, kaning libro jud dako kaayog tabang nato para mas mogawas atong imagination ug atong mga damgo sad,” he said.
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