Disaster Preparedness in Schools in 67th episode of ‘Stories for a Better Normal’ Series

October 20, 2021

MANILA, 20 October 2021 — The 67th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways” will feature the programs, projects, and activities of the Department of Education (DepEd) that inculcate disaster preparedness in all DepEd offices, schools, learners, and personnel.

The online conversation, conceptualized and hosted by three-term former Senator, now Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, will air on Thursday, 21 October 2021, 10:00 AM via Facebook Live at facebook.com/CCCPhl, facebook.com/iamlorenlegarda, and facebook.com/DepartmentOfEducation.PH. Two lucky viewers can win tablets by tuning in throughout the program.

Joining the online conversation are Dir. Ronilda Co and Ms. Monalyn Bermijiso of DepEd Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service (DRRMS); Mr. Glenn Sabido from the Schools Division Office (SDO) of Iloilo; Ms. Ghia Ureta from Alasasin Elementary School, SDO Bataan; and Ms. Johannna Mae Sitchon from Panabo City National High School, SDO Panabo City to discuss the DepEd’s disaster preparedness programs and good practices in public schools.

The Philippines, given its geographical location, archipelagic formation in the tropical Pacific, and population distribution, is highly exposed to natural hazards such as storms, flooding, drought, and rise in sea level, and is greatly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

In 2021, the Global Climate Risk Index listed the Philippines as the number four country most affected by extreme weather events. The country was likewise ranked ninth highest disaster risk among 181 countries in the world.

Based on the Department of Education (DepEd) Enhanced Basic Education Information System (EBEIS) data from school years 2009-2010 to 2018-2019, 47,188 schools reported to have experienced natural hazards.

Hence, reinforcing the capacities of the whole community towards the risk and adverse impacts of natural hazards is essential in order to reduce vulnerability.

The DepEd recognizes its responsibility in addressing these vulnerabilities. Through its disaster preparedness program initiatives, DepEd aims to protect its education investments, most especially its stakeholders, from the impacts of natural and human-induced hazards.

As part of its disaster preparedness program, the Department through the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service is currently developing an edutainment series called “The Adventures of Ready Kid!”. This series is intended for children to understand natural hazards and disaster preparedness concepts easily. The series will contain 8 episodes, each providing a discussion on what to do before, during, and after each hazard. It will also introduce basic concepts about each hazard, including their causes or triggers, effects on schools and community, and mitigation measures in the Philippine setting.

As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, “Stories for a Better Normal” aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities by demonstrating ways in which a ‘better normal’ can be realized within our communities.

This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission, with support from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation. ###