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We would like to acknowledge the support of Mayor Benhur Abalos who assigned 20 students under the city’s Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) to Unang Hakbang Foundation. Without those students, this survey would not have been possible.

We are also very grateful to Bgy. Chairmen Kuyog Posadas and Onay Servillon of Bgys. Addition Hills and Highway Hills, respectively, who facilitated the survey teams’ introduction to the residents of the barangay.

Finally, we would like to thank Division Superintendent Dr. Florencia Domingo of the Department of Education-NCR Division of City Schools for helping guide the development of the survey.

Unang Hakbang Foundation (UHF) is an operating foundation that helps street and other children in poor urban communities to realize their potential, expand their life options, and grow into empowered and empowering adults.

We have two main programs: Aral Kalinga, a mentoring and tutorial program for street and out-of-school children and youth and public elementary school children who are at-risk of dropping out and Buhay Kalinga, a formation and skills development program addressing the needs of these children.

Tending fragile seedlings We help nurture the seedlings of possibility within the young people who come to our centers. Edwin, who at 14 drew the above, articulated this sentiment for us. Edwin is now 21 and acts as a peer tutor while still enrolled at a night high school. He first came to UHF as a grubby 12 year old street child.

UHF arrived at Welfareville, Bgy. Addition Hills, ten years ago in April 1999 by following the children who had been going to our first center, Bahay ni San Francisco, a day center for street children located near EDSA Crossing, the central commercial and transportation hub of Mandaluyong City.

UHF’s entry into Calbayog in Bgy. Highway Hills a year later followed the same track. We followed the children of Calbayog who in turn had discovered Bahay ni San Francisco.

Bahay ni San Francisco As many of the street children at EDSA Crossing were their neighbors, the other children of Welfareville, Bgy. Addition Hills followed them to Bahay ni San Francisco joining in the games, learning prayers and participating in values classes.

Welfareville One of our earliest visits to Welfareville with Lilia (2nd from left) and Nara (3rd from right), volunteer parents, as our guide.

Today, after 10 years, we wanted to know: How have we done? Which path leads to growth? Serendipitously, UHF was allocated 20 young people, aged 15-19, by the Mandaluyong City Mayor’s Office to be provided allowances under the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES). With their promised assistance, we began plans for this survey.

Given the limitations of our proposed survey team as well as the short period within which the work had to be completed, the objectives of the survey were pared down to: ď ˝

Determining the number of school-age children in the areas to be surveyed ď ˝ Determining the number of out-of-school children and youth and identifying where they resided

The survey was expected to provide a gauge of UHF’s penetration into the communities it serves.  It was also expected to facilitate the identification of out-of-school children and youth to be invited to participate in UHF’s Alternative Learning Program. 

Welfareville Compound, Bgy. Addition Hills  South-end of Calbayog St. in Bgy. Highway Hills  Portion of Sinag St. within the boundary of Bgy. Highway Hills 

At home in Calbayog Tess (leftmost), a volunteer parent, with her two children, on the “balcony� of their home in Calbayog. Both children attend tutorials at UHF.

The survey teams were asked to interview 100% of all households in the areas covered.  Teams were composed of 2 SPES students each recruited from among UHF’s older peer tutors or Batang Guros.  The students were given a 1-day training in how to approach interview subjects and in the handling of the survey form & tally sheet. 

The surveys were conducted during the period of May 5-22 in Bgy. Addition Hills and May 26-27 in Bgy. Highway Hills.  In Bgy. Addition Hills, teams were assigned to a block at the beginning of each day. They reported to UHF’s supervising staff at the end of the day to submit their tally sheets, add up the results, and report on any critical incident. 

At Bgy. Highway Hills, the teams were assigned alleyways and again required to report to UHF’s supervising staff at the end of the day  Teams were required to identify each dwelling unit by a number following a uniform convention of starting with the house on their right. This was to facilitate validation and enable UHF to followup on households with out-of-school children and youth. 

Random validation of the responses recorded in the tally sheets were conducted by UHF’s supervising staff.  Prior to finalization, the results of the Bgy. Addition Hills survey were presented to the Block Leaders Association for additional validation. 

Training Day Students chosen to conduct the survey pose at the completion of their 1-day training with Dr. Espeso of the Division of City Schools (in blue, seated 5 th from left); Olie Lucas, President of Unang Hakbang Foundation (seated 2nd from right); and Mss. Beth Landaos and Mylene Batalla of UHF (standing on right) who would be supervising the survey.

To facilitate the survey teams’ entry into the community, the survey project was presented to the Block Leaders Association of Bgy. Addition Hills. This was facilitated by Bgy. Chairman Kuyog Posadas. 

The survey teams were likewise presented to Bgy. Highway Hills Chairman Onay Servillon. 

Distinctive T-shirts and Identification Cards were issued to the members of the survey teams. The T-shirts were issued by the barangays. ď ˝

Meeting with Block Leaders Association Members of the Block Leaders Association of Welfareville, Bgy. Addition Hills, above, listen to a presentation on the purposes and objectives of Unang Hakbang Foundation and the proposed survey of school-age children in their community.

Team members introduce themselves Each member of the survey team was asked to introduce him/herself during the meeting with the Block Leaders Association of Welfareville, Bgy. Addition Hills. The majority of team members were residents of Bgy. Addition Hills themselves. It was therefore also a good opportunity for them to meet their block leader.

On the starting date Team members met at Bahay ni Nino Hesus, UHF’s Welfareville center, to don their new T-shirts, pick up their survey kit and get a final briefing.

At Welfareville, Bgy. Addition Hills A survey team at work.

At Bgy. Highway Hills A survey team approaching a householder in the barangay.

Validating responses Mylene and Beth, members of UHF’s staff, validating data reported by the survey teams.

There are:  

9,556 children, aged 0-15 5,745 children, aged 6-15

6 year olds, or potential new entrants into G1, numbered 930.

Welfareville Bgy. Addition Hills

There are:  

719 children, aged 0-15 447 children, aged 6-15

6 year olds, or potential new entrants into G1, numbered 53.

Calbayog & Sinag (selected areas) Bgy. Highway Hills

Households have a high of 2.52 children, aged 015, per family and a low of 1.01 Average number of children per family is 1.65

Welfareville Bgy. Addition Hills

Households have a high of 3.37 children, aged 015, per family and a low of 1.09 Average number of children per family is 2.52

Calbayog & Sinag (selected areas) Bgy. Highway Hills

367 children, aged 3-5, are not in day care or preschool 18 children, aged 6-11, and 28 children, aged 1215, are out-of-school, equivalent to 0.5% and 1.5% of children in those age groups, respectively.

Welfareville Bgy. Addition Hills

28 children, aged 3-5, are not in day care or preschool 3, or just 1% of children, aged 6-11, and none among children aged 1215 are out-of-school

Calbayog & Sinag (selected areas) Bgy. Highway Hills

A total of 664 adults and older children and youth have not completed schooling: 

343 young persons, aged 16-24 321 older persons, aged 25 & above

Welfareville Bgy. Addition Hills

A total of 37 adults and older children and youth have not completed schooling: 

29 young persons, aged 16-24 8 older persons, aged 25 and above

Calbayog & Sinag (selected areas) Bgy. Highway Hills

Average Number of Children At Each Age-Year Age Group


Calbayog / Sinag













Interestingly, the number of children at each age year between 0-5 is lower than the number of 6 year olds after a period of increases.

Are there less new families entering the community? Or have fertility rates actually begun to decline?

The City Government and the local Division of City Schools should be commended for the high level of school participation evident in the areas surveyed. The overall participation rate of 99% in the areas surveyed is better than the participation rate of 92.9% and 75.1% among elementary school and high school children, respectively, in the National Capital Region as reported by the Department of Education for School Year 2006/2007.

Contributory factors: ď‚–


An aggressive school building program. Welfareville is ringed by 4 public schools all of which have been refurbished and expanded during the past 10 years while in Highway Hills, the elementary school has added new buildings and been transformed in the Highway Hills Integrated School. Sustained improvements in the schools management system.

The results affirm UHF’s focus on helping primary school age children, who historically exhibit the highest drop-out rates, keep up with their school work.

Causative factors: ď‚–


At anyone time, UHF has some 150-180 children at Bahay ni Nino Hesus, our center in Welfareville, roughly equivalent to 4% of all children, aged 611, in the community helping mainly those who are in the bottom half of their class. Over the last 10 years, accordingly, UHF has reached out to at least 1,000 children in Welfareville meeting with them on a daily basis throughout the school year.

Causative factors: ď‚–

About a third of all children who come to Bahay ni Maria, UHF’s Calbayog center, are also from the slum community at the south-end of the street, roughly equivalent to 10% of all children, aged 611, in the community.

Related Issue: ď‚–

The grouping of out-of-school children and youth among those aged 16-24 invites a review of UHF’s approach which follows up on children only in the primary grades.

There is need to expand the reach of day care centers and the pre-school system to reel in the 395 children, aged 3-5, who are not in school. At Welfareville, this requires the establishment of at least 9 new centers.

A major effort is required to help those who have not completed their schooling to get back on the education track. UHF is fully committed to extending educational assistance in the form of basic literacy classes and delivering the Alternative Learning System to the most number of learners.

Realizing the need to create an additional track for children coming out of Aral Kalinga, UHF is enhancing Buhay Kalinga to create a more direct link between education and work. Immediately, UHF is expanding its peer tutorial system to include older children, providing our Batang Guro additional training to enable them to also serve as peer mentors.

As of July 2009, 20 children, aged 13 and above, have volunteered to be a Batang Guro. They are in addition to the Munting Titsers who are regularly recruited among the younger children. We intend to provide allowances to our older peer tutors, the Batang Guro, and to deploy them to other areas in the community regularly on weekends.

A fuller study is needed to better project the needs of children in the community. Some areas of concern are the overcrowding of dwellings which reaches a high of 2 and 2.13 families per dwelling unit in Calbayog and Welfareville, respectively. Safe spaces for older children, esp. those aged 12-15, where they can play, congregate and engage in other activities are also greatly needed.

The areas covered by the survey are among the poorest communities in Mandaluyong City yet the results show an outstanding school participation rate indicating a way to keeping children in school through the combined initiative of government and non-government institutions.

39 Calbayog St., Bgy. Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City, Philippines Telephone: (632) 531 3474 Email:

Making Progress  

Results of survey undertaken May 2009

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