As reported in a local news program, about 9 million Filipinos are functionally illiterate; meaning they can read but cannot comprehend. A majority of these are the youngsters not more than 10 years old. There can be a number of reasons why that number has grown to that degree. IMO interest has to play a major role
A child’s interest is to have fun at the most and presently this interest is satisfied with the advances in electronic media; TV, video games etc. Reading has devolved to boring.
I have one suggestion for the Department of Education… although quite biased towards my line of work; help revive the local comic book industry. It has proven successful in keeping kids in Xavier High School (not the fictional school for gifted youngsters) interested in literature, why not use it to keep them interested in reading? And with pictures to assist in telling the story, comprehension is not that far behind.
Comics is your friend.