By Jhon Aldrin Casinas
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) will be sending 10 tents that will serve as Temporary Learning Spaces (TLS) for students in North Cotabato and Davao del Sur to ensure that they could still continue with their education.
The PRC said North Cotabato and Davao de Sur provinces will each receive five TLS tents which could accommodate 40 to 50 students. The tents are set to arrive on Monday.
“This mission will be headed by Red Cross Youth (RCY) staff to help thousands of displaced students to ensure the continuity of education after their schools were damaged by temblors while other learning facilities are now being utilized as temporary evacuation centers,” PRC Chairman and Senator Richard Gordon said.
The Department of Education earlier bared that it would need P2.25 billion for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the schools damaged by the series of strong earthquakes that rocked parts of Mindanao since October 16.
Citing data provided by the DepEd, the PRC said over 1,000 schools were damaged by the quakes that led to the suspension of classes.
“A lot of school buildings aren’t safe yet after they sustained damages and large cracks due to the strong aftershocks since October 16,” Gordon said.
“Aside from food, medicine, and water, more children are also in need of education which is their right,” he added.
The PRC said that 1,122 families in Davao Del Sur and North Cotabato have received food items from the humanitarian organization as of November 13.
The organization has also deployed 569 volunteers, staff, and Red Cross Youth that provided first aid to 81 people in eight First Aid stations established in Kidapawan City, Davao del Sur, and General Santos City.
Moreover, the PRC said it has distributed hot meals to 9,482 families in North Cotabato (6,860) and Davao Del Sur (2,622), and rendered psychosocial support to 3,338 people in North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Davao Del Sur, General Santos, and Sultan Kudarat.
To avoid accidental fire in tents at evacuation centers, the PRC said that it would set up a community kitchen in every evacuation site so that evacuees will not have to cook their food inside their tents.
According to the PRC, more than 30,687 families or 153,435 people in 15 municipalities and cities in seven provinces in Mindanao have been affected by the series of earthquakes.