Benilde Partners with DepEd Manila on Deaf Advocacy Through Community Engagement

23 May 2024

On May 14, 2024, Benilde and DepEd Manila formalized a significant partnership to collaborate on community engagement programs at Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle. This collaboration will span five academic years, starting in AY 2023-2024 and continuing until AY 2028-2029.

The agreement offers Benildeans valuable opportunities to enrich their curricular and extracurricular activities, such as the National Service Training Program (NSTP), the Deaf Studies Internship (DESTUIN), and other volunteer initiatives organized by the Center for Deaf Esteem and Formation (CDEAF). These activities will be conducted through the community partners identified by DepEd Manila, providing Benildeans with more realistic exposure to real-world situations and instilling a sense of reality.

Attendees of the ceremonial event included:

  • Ebenezer Beloy, PhD – Curriculum Implementation Division Chief of DepEd Manila
  • Dr. Aurelio Alfonso, CESO VI, on behalf of Ms. Rita Riddle, CESO V, DepEd Manila Schools Division Superintendent
  • Mr. Angelo Marco Lacson, Benilde Vice Chancellor of Academics
  • Marian Patricia Bea Francisco, PhD, OIC Dean of Benilde School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies
  • Ms. Agnes Canayon, OIC Director of Benilde Center for Deaf Esteem and Formation
  • Mr. Oscar Sherlo Reyes, Benilde External Linkages Director

In his welcome remarks, Mr. Angelo Lacson highlighted the importance of this agreement, marking a significant milestone in promoting inclusion and enhancing educational opportunities for Deaf students. The partnership outlines a five-year collaboration plan, including internships and community programs aimed at bridging gaps and fostering mutual understanding between Deaf and Hearing communities. Mr. Lacson expressed gratitude for DepEd’s commitment to creating a more inclusive educational environment, hoping that this collaboration would make a lasting impact.

Dr. Aurelio Alfonso celebrated the occasion, stating, “Today is a time to celebrate this extraordinary gathering to heed the call and to help bring about a radical change to fulfill our mission, to provide quality and inclusive education for our Filipino youth.” He also extended appreciation to Benilde for their valuable support in transforming the lives of learners with disabilities, especially the Deaf, enabling them to become fully functional literates and lifelong learners.

Marian Bea Francisco, PhD, reflected on Benilde’s past engagements with DepEd Manila, expressing, “We look forward to working with DepEd Manila and the schools in the next five years. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. And in Benilde we say, it takes a community to make inclusion work.” Benilde has a long history of upholding and offering inclusive education, dating back to 1990 when it started the Bachelor in Applied Deaf Studies program. Today, Benilde remains the only school in the Philippines offering a bachelor’s degree in Applied Deaf Studies. In 2022, Benilde introduced the Bachelor in Sign Language Interpretation, another unique offering in the country. Additionally, the College offers the Filipino Sign Language Learning Program (FSLLP), a non-degree program for those interested in learning Filipino Sign Language (FSL).

Dr. Francisco added, “We are very grateful for the DepEd Division of City Schools Manila for welcoming our students over the past years, and we hope this continues through this partnership. In a world filled with so much information, misconceptions, and misunderstandings, knowledge is indeed powerful, and we hope more people will join us in advocating for a more inclusive environment for our Deaf allies.”

For more information on Benilde’s undergraduate programs, contact us at (63) 2 8230 5100 local 1801 or You may also visit our website at

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