Home » DepEd Resources » Implementing the DepEd 3Bs Initiative

Implementing the DepEd 3Bs Initiative

Attached is a copy of DepEd Memorandum No. 173, s. 2019 (Enclosure No. 1 to 4) dated November 22, 2019, from Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones, DepEd-Central Office entitled “HAMON: BAWAT BATA BUMABASA (3Bs Initiative)”, the contents of which are self-explanatory, for information and strict compliance.

Conceptual Considerations in Implementing the Hamon: Bawat Bata Bumabasa (3Bs Initiative)

The Elements of Reading

Learning to read is one of the most important educational outcomes of primary education. The ability to read is fundamental to children’s learning, including their development of broader literacy skills, and to their future successful participation in society, including the workforce.

Reading is a complex process that involves both learning to decode texts and learning to make meaning from texts.

An Early Literacy Program, where learners “Learn to Read” should have the following Elements which is called “The Big Six.”

To be effective readers, children need to be able to use the six elements in combination. An integrated approach to explicit reading instruction is therefore essential to provide relevant learning connected to other experiences. While teachers may highlight individual components at different times, they are not a set of isolated skills and need to be integrated throughout reading opportunities across the day. So, for example, while the systematic teaching of phonics is an important component, it is not sufficient in itself for learning to read.

1. Oral language

It is impossible to understand the written form of a language without a wide vocabulary and familiarity with language structures. These are, in most cases, already well-developed before a child begins school (Reese, Sparks & Leyva, 2010; Skeat et al, 2010). Oral language therefore provides the foundation for learning to read and is directly linked to overall reading achievement. When children are surrounded by and included in increasingly complex conversations, they:

  • expand their vocabulary;
  • increase the complexity of the language structures they use;
  • become language risk-takers;
  • develop confidence in the way they communicate;
  • clarify their thinking and deepen their understanding of their world; and
  • tune into the sounds of the standard language.

2. Phonological awareness

Phonological awareness refers to the ability to focus on the sounds of speech. It encompasses an awareness of rhythm, rhyme, sounds, and syllables. Awareness often begins with rhythm, for example, children clapping the beats of their name. The next step is often rhyme: producing rhyming patterns like king, wing and sing demonstrates early phonemic awareness which is the most important subset of phonological awareness in the development of reading and spelling.

It enables children to identify and focus on the separate sounds in words: phonemes. Children then learn to divide syllables into separate sounds and manipulate them to form different words. Letter-sound relationships can then be introduced and children can be taught phonemic and phonics skills simultaneously from this point.

3. Phonics

Phonics involves recognizing the relationship between letters and sounds, sometimes called the ‘alphabetic principle.’ Current empirical evidence supports teaching beginning and struggling readers using a synthetic approach to phonics (Johnston & Watson, 2003; Rose, 2006). This approach teaches single letters and common letter combinations in a discrete, systematic, and explicit way. The order in which they are taught facilitates their blending into simple words so that children can immediately practice their new skills, building automaticity, and confidence. The research also recommends that these new skills are reinforced as early as possible by having children both listening to high quality texts and reading connected text themselves.

Explicit phonics instruction is essential for most beginning and all struggling readers, but should always be combined with the many other elements of an effective reading program, such as rich oral language instruction, and modelled and guided reading (Konza, 2011).

Phonics instruction doesn’t help children understand irregular ‘sight’ words such as said, was, and saw. These words must be learned through rapid word recognition to the point of automaticity. For this reason, sight words are taught systematically and explicitly, rather than being addressed only when children encounter these words in texts. Comprehension is supported when plenty of practice is provided to use these newly-learned sight words in context. When a reader is able to immediately recognize some words accurately, they can concentrate on the new or less familiar words and focus on making meaning, rather than just decoding.

4. Vocabulary

When children know the meaning of a word, they are far more likely to be able to read it and make sense of it within a text. Children need to be continually expanding the range of words that they can understand and use in context. Vocabulary development’ is both an outcome of comprehension and a precursor to it, with word meanings making up as much as 70-90% of comprehension’ (Bromley, 2007).

Vocabulary is, for the most part, learned through repeated exposure to new words in conversations, by listening to stories, by reading, and through different media (Senechai, 1997). Exposure to words in meaningful contexts helps to make meanings clear and children can then easily add them to their word bank. This type of indirect vocabulary acquisition is particularly effective for children who arrive at school having been exposed to a wide and rich vocabulary. For other children who have a more restricted vocabulary (Biemuller, 2009) and have less access to the vocabulary of books, the explicit teaching of vocabulary is essential (Beck & McKeown, 2007).

5. Fluency

Fluency is not the ability to just read quickly. Fluent reading is the ability to make reading sound like spoken language. It is reading with appropriate phrasing, expression, and pace. Fluent readers understand and make meaning of the text as they read. Core components include accuracy, pace and expression, and volume. There is a strong correlation between fluency and comprehension.

Even highly competent readers will not be fluent when the text contains many unfamiliar or technical words that are new to the readers. Fluency demands that the text be at the readers’ independent reading level. This is why beginning and struggling readers need simple texts at their independent level to build speed and confidence. When children are sent home with books that they can ‘already read,’ they have opportunities to develop appropriate expression, to practice chunking and pausing, and, most importantly, to build their confidence. On the other hand, reading quickly without attending to punctuation, expression, and comprehension is not fluency. Reading rates should not be at the expense of comprehension.

6. Comprehension

Effective readers understand the purpose of their reading and adjust their reading behaviors (skimming, scanning, or reading closely for detail) according to that purpose. They learn that texts look different according to their identified purpose, context, and audience. Readers’ understanding of the features of different text types helps them make meaning.

Proficient readers monitor their understanding as they read, integrating new information with existing knowledge and experience. They focus on relevant parts of the text to distinguish important content from minor detail. They make and monitor predictions and evaluate content as they read. For this to happen, they learn to adjust their reading strategies, pace and vocabulary knowledge, as well as their strategies for decoding and chunking to read the unfamiliar.

Comprehension is made up of a toolkit of strategies that should be explicitly taught, namely:

Predicting and activating prior knowledgeQuestioningVisualizing
Monitoring and ClarifyingMaking ConnectionInferring
Determining importanceSummarizing and Synthesizing

These strategies are often intertwined but some are more suited to specific reading tasks than others.

DepEd Bawat Bata Bumabasa Initiative Implementation Framework
Figure 1. “Bawat Bata Bumabasa” Initiative Implementation Framework


The “Bawat Bata Bumabasa” Initiative is anchored on a number of researches which make its implementation relevant and empirically valid.

According to Diamond (2006), an effective reading program develops reading competence in all learners and is based on proven practices. Three components are critical to the design, implementation, and sustainability of powerful reading instruction: professional development that equips educators with a solid knowledge base; effective instructional tools that are aligned to the knowledge base; and school systems that support and nurture implementation. These components are explicitly stated in the Framework for “Bawat Bata Bumabasa” Initiative which requires the participation and support of different field offices, the community, and stakeholders.

It can also be noted that the framework commences with the profiling of learners which shall serve as baseline data for the development of all efforts that shall converge on the promotion of a culture of reading in every school, thereby eradicating achievement gaps. The indispensability of profiling learners is emphasized in a study conducted by Boakye (2017), which states that there have been a number of studies on reading interventions to improve learners’ reading efficiency, yet the majority of these interventions are undertaken with the assumption that learners’ reading challenges are obvious and generic in nature. The interventions do not take into consideration the diversity in students’ reading backgrounds and the specific nature of the challenges. Thus, interventions alone may not fully address learners’ specific reading needs.

The “Bawat Bata Bumabasa” Initiative is grounded on the needs of the learners and shall develop subsequent interventions for the learners. The framework provides a system on how the program will work to achieve its goals in closing achievement gaps through a culture of reading.

Figure 1 shows the framework of the “Bawat Bata Bumabasa” initiative for the implementation of reading literacy initiatives in the public schools. The first step in implementing the “Bawat Bata Bumabasa” initiative is to conduct a needs analysis. Ideally, this includes profiling of learners through the results of national assessments, curriculum mapping, inputs from program implementation review (PIR) activities, and benchmarking on good practices in reading literacy from other schools, LGUs, etc. to which the bases and directions of all other components of the program shall be determined.

The inputs may be analyzed, evaluated, and interpreted to:

  • create contextualized reading curricula to be used for the implementation of reading literacy initiatives in the schools;
  • design and conduct relevant capacity-building activities on reading instruction and intervention for the regions and divisions’ reading coordinators and trainers;
  • gather the existing pool of regional and division reading coordinators and reading teachers composed of all teachers willing to manage the reading literacy initiatives in their respective schools (it is ideal but not required to tap language teachers for this);
  • formulate and issue policy guidelines for promoting and sustaining a culture of reading in schools, communities, and all DepEd offices;
  • ensure provision for teaching reading materials; and
  • develop grade level appropriate, contextualized, or interesting supplementary reading materials for learners.

For capacity-building activities, the ELLN courseware and existing pedagogical retooling programs shall provide initial inputs on the program implementation to teachers, school heads, and supervisors. The program shall be implemented and sustained in the schools through Learning Action Cell (LAC) as a cost-efficient, continuous professional development for teachers, school heads, learners, parents, and the communities.

The “Bawat Bata Bumabasa” Initiative will require reading coordinators who will be in charge of the reading center/clinic to be established in every school. All language teachers (Mother Tongue, Filipino, and English) and all other teachers who are willing to be tapped for their school initiative on reading literacy programs will serve as the reading teachers who will conduct intensive reading instruction and interventions to struggling readers and non-readers. Different programs, projects, and activities shall be put in place for this purpose (i.e. Readathon and DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) activities in schools, communities, and DepEd offices which can be done by setting aside a 10-minute time period every day to read any chosen reading materials). A menu of existing models of effective reading interventions is found in Annex 2. Moreover, the implementation of suggested reading activities enclosed in previous DepEd issuances shall be further strengthened.

As a result, the program shall have the following targeted outputs: promoted and sustained culture of reading, improved teachers’ teaching ability in reading instruction and intervention, most improved reading literacy schools, and access to quality, relevant, and grade-level appropriate teaching and learning reading materials.

As for monitoring and evaluation aspect of the program, data gathering on the status and feedback of its implementation using survey questionnaires shall be conducted. Monitoring and evaluation in the field offices and schools through report validation, classroom observations, and interviews shall be spearheaded by the BLD, with the help of other CO bureaus.

Also, the Most Effective Reading Interventions (school, division, and regional levels) shall be recognized together with the Most Effective Reading Coordinators, Reading Teachers, and School Administrators.

To determine the effectiveness of this program, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation of overall results of the post-test of Phil-IRI, EGRA, and the national assessments for student learning shall be done which shall serve as inputs on planning for its next strategic directions for the coming years.

Moreover, the reading theories, practices, and researches shall guide the planning, implementation and processes, and monitoring and evaluation phases of this program.

As a whole, the program shall gear towards achieving improved learners’ reading proficiency where learners can read and comprehend independently at their grade level which will ultimately result to increased learning outcomes. The schools, division offices, regional offices, and central office, in partnership with communities and stakeholders shall work hand in hand to attain the goal of this program.

Implementation Components:

The implementation components which shall guide the direction of the “Bawat Bata Bumabasa” Initiative are listed as follows:

  • Profiling of learners using the results of national assessments for student learning (Phil-IRI, modified phonemic awareness and phonics assessment, ELLNA, Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA), National Achievement Test). Also, results of teachers’ need assessment shall be used as baseline data for program implementation;
  • Creation of contextualized reading curricula to be utilized for the implementation of reading literacy initiatives in the schools;
  • Gathering of the existing pool of regional and division reading coordinators and reading teachers composed of all teachers who will manage the reading literacy initiatives in their respective schools;
  • Establishment of a Reading Center/Clinic in every school with one in-charge reading coordinator. The reading center/clinic shall be established in order to provide reading interventions to struggling readers and non-readers to develop their literacy skills and become successful in schools;
  • Capacity-building for the regions and divisions’ reading coordinators and trainers to train their designated school reading coordinators and reading teachers on intensive reading instruction and interventions to ensure that reading is explicitly taught in every class, to provide interventions for struggling readers and non-readers, and to enable these teachers to support each other through LAC in order to develop their own reading fluency and comprehension, as well as their teaching ability in reading instruction and intervention;
  • Recognizing the Most Effective in Reading Interventions at the school, SDO, and regional levels. Awards shall be given to the most effective reading coordinators, reading teachers, and school administrators to acknowledge their invaluable efforts and means in increasing learning outcomes and achieving the goal of producing independent readers in their schools;
  • Fostering a collaborative spirit to increase learning outcomes by promoting a culture of reading in schools, communities, and various levels of governance in DepEd through different activities, partnership and linkages with stakeholders, advocacy campaigns, and other innovative means; (i.e. implementing Readathon and DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) initiatives in the schools, communities, and DepEd offices which can be done by setting aside a 10-minute time period every day to read any chosen reading materials);
  • Ensuring that existing grade-level appropriate, contextualized, or interesting reading materials shall be available and read by teachers and learners together during a 20-minute pleasure reading session in every classroom. Reading teachers are advised to have their learners choose any reading material of their interest to be brought to the classroom to read it together and/or to share about it in the class. Further, teachers in other learning areas are also encouraged to include reading sessions using relevant content area reading materials in their classes; and
  • Developing more supplementary reading materials, either print or nonprint for use during classroom reading instruction or intervention to ensure that both teachers and learners shall have access to a variety of materials during reading sessions. For this purpose, all DepEd personnel in the central office, regions, divisions, and schools are encouraged to develop supplementary reading materials subject to existing development guidelines, procedures, and quality assurance measures of the Bureau of Learning Resources.


  • Boakye, N. (2017). Exploring Students’ Reading Profiles to Guide a Reading Intervention Programme. English Language Teaching, Vol 10 (7). Canadian Center of Science and Education. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJl 144777.pdf
  • Diamond, L. (2006). “Implementing and Sustaining an Effective Reading program” A Core Briefing Paper. The Consortium on Reading Excellence, Inc. Retrieved from https://www.shastacoe.org/uploaded/Dept/is/general/Teacher_Section/COREBriefingPap erK-8Reading.pdf

Criteria in Selecting Most Effective 3Bs Initiatives

School Level

Percentage of learners who read at the instructional and independent levels at the end of the school year50 %
Support from stakeholders in terms of volunteer work or financial/material resources20 %
Capacity-building provided to teachers and parents15%
Quality of researches undertaken while implementing the reading intervention15%

SDO / Regional Level

Percentage of learners who read at the instructional and independent levels at the end of the school year40 %
Support from stakeholders in terms of volunteer work or financial/material resources15 %
Capacity-building provided to teachers and parents15 %
Quality of researches undertaken while implementing the reading intervention15 %
Percentage of schools/SDOs that responded to the Hamon: Bawat Bata Bumabasa (3Bs Initiative)15 %

Additional points to consider for an effective reading program:

A Reading Program:

  1. nurtures proficient readers through systematic and continuous literacy instruction of the six elements of reading: oral language, phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension;
  2. contributes to improved student achievement based on scientific evidences;
  3. is driven by reading researches and not ideology;
  4. emphasizes direct, systematic, intensive, and sustained reading instruction and/or intervention;
  5. makes effective use of instructional time, provides multiple reading opportunities, and employs a variety of reading assessments (Schacter, nd);
  6. makes use of wide-range of quality-assured reading instruction and intervention materials, either in print or in digital formats;
  7. is initiated through teacher professional development activities and then, sustained through continuous school-based LAC throughout the school year;
  8. makes use of empirical data through regular monitoring and evaluation to guide its implementation;
  9. builds on the whole school community’s commitment to the integrity of the program’s instructional approach and materials.
  10. requires school-wide buy-in before its implementation and is strongly supported and advocated by internal and external stakeholders through linkages or partnerships.

The National Research Council (NRC), a group of experts convened to examine reading research and address the serious national problem of reading failure, concluded in their landmark report Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children (Snow, Bums, & Griffin, 1998) that most reading problems can be prevented by providing effective instruction and intervention. Also, they noted that effective reading teachers adapt their instruction, making changes designed to meet the needs of different students.

According to NRC, the five research-supported characteristics of effective reading instruction for learners, which can also serve as support criteria for selecting effective 3B initiative or program are the following:

1. Teach essential skills and strategies.
Effective reading teachers teach skills, strategies, and concepts.

2. Provide differentiated instruction based on assessment results and adapt instruction to meet learners’ needs.
Effective teachers recognize that one size doesn’t fit all and are ready to adapt instruction—both content and methods.

3. Provide explicit and systematic instruction with lots of practice—with and without teacher support and feedback, including cumulative practice over time.
Learners should not have to infer what they are supposed to learn.

4. Provide opportunities to apply skills and strategies in reading and writing meaningful text with teacher support.
Learners need to be taught what to do when they get to a “hard word.”

5. Don’t just “cover” critical content; be sure learners learn it—monitor student progress regularly and reteach as necessary.
Effective teachers adjust their teaching accordingly to try to accelerate learners’ progress.


The Access Center. (2014). Considerations when Selecting a Reading Program. Retrieved from https://www.readingrockets.org/article/considerations-when-selecting-reading-program

Denton, C. (2003). Classroom Reading Instruction That Supports Struggling Readers: Key Components for Effective Teaching. Retrieved from http://www.rtinetwork.org/essential/tieredinstruction/tier 1/effectiveteaching

Template for Entries to the Search for Most Effective 3Bs Implementers

Template for Entries to the Search for Most Effective 3Bs Implementers

Important Dates to Remember – Hamon: Bawat Bata Bumabasa (3Bs Initiative)

A. Submission of List of Schools Responding to the Hamon: Bawat Bata BumabasaDecember 1, 2019
B. Planning, Implementation, and Monitoring of InterventionDecember 2019 to March
C. Submission of Regional Nominees to the Search for Most Effective 3Bs InitiativesApril 15, 2020
D. Validation of the NomineesMay 1-15, 2020
E. Announcement of WinnersLast week of May 2020

Download DepEd Hamon: Bawat Bata Bumabasa (3BS Initiative)

Share with your friends!

Mark Anthony Llego

Mark Anthony Llego, from the Philippines, has significantly influenced the teaching profession by enabling thousands of teachers nationwide to access essential information and exchange ideas. His contributions have enhanced their instructional and supervisory abilities. Moreover, his articles on teaching have reached international audiences and have been featured on highly regarded educational websites in the United States.

1 thought on “Implementing the DepEd 3Bs Initiative”

Leave a Comment

Can't Find What You'RE Looking For?

We are here to help - please use the search box below.