ORMOC CITY – City Mayor Lucy Torres-Gomez urged teachers to help their students fall for reading and to be able to understand what they were reading.

“No matter what grade level you are teaching, please make an effort to make the children fall in love with reading, let them fall in love with the story,” said Mayor Gomez.

This, she emphasized after administering the Oath of Office to 19 newly-hired and 97 newly-promoted Department of Education (DepEd) personnel, which took place at the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) Session Hall of the new Ormoc City Hall on March 5, 2024.

During the event, the mayor urged the teachers that regardless of the student’s grade level or the subjects they teach, educators must be an anchor to help their students fall in love with reading, as this would somehow address the Philippines’ reading and comprehension problem.

The mayor further said that what the children are reading doesn’t have to be educational; what’s important is that they understand what they were reading. “If they want to read a novel, if they want to read books about falling in love or fighting a war, it’s okay. What’s important is they absorb the story, kay once they read and enjoy mosunod ra diha ang comprehension,” Mayor Gomez added.

The mayor’s call is one way to address the issue of reading and comprehending what one just read, not only in this city but across the entire nation.

Currently, one of the problems that the Philippines is dealing with is students who know how to read but do not understand what they were reading, or the lack of comprehension. After being ranked the lowest out of 79 participating countries in 2018 in reading comprehension, the Philippines was ranked 76th out of 81 countries for 2022.

The said teachers’ oathtaking ceremony was also attended by Chairperson for the Committee on Education, Sangguniang Panlungsod Member (SPM) Atty. Nolito Quilang, SPM Rey Evangelista, SPM Jasper Lucero, SPM Gregorio Yrastorza III, SPM Caren Torres Rama, SPM Edmund Kierulf, SPM Burt Pades, SPM Lalaine Marcos, Executive-Legislative Liaison Officer Leo Carmelo Locsin, Jr., SPM Esteban Laurente, and SPM Krizea Caessandra Mercadal. By Gwen Maurillo (EV Mail March 4-10, 2024 issue)