Disaster risk reduction, management in schools tackled in OCD webinar

Published September 4, 2021, 1:32 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

Ahead of the scheduled school year 2021-’22 opening date on Sept. 13, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) conducted a webinar on disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) to strengthen the education sector’s preparedness and resilience in times of emergency situations.

Photo taken at Palma Gil Integrated School PGIS in Talaingod, Davao del Norte last June 2021. (DepEd Philippines Facebook page)

OCD Assistant Sec. Hernando Caraig Jr. said around 20,000 “netizens” participated in the school-based DRRM webinar held on Friday, Sept. 3, as part of the third quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED).

Director Ronilda Co, of the Department of Education (DepEd) – DRRM Service, discussed school safety and the roles and functions of students, teachers, and non-teaching personnel during disasters and calamities.

She presented the vulnerability of the education sector to natural hazards; the initiatives of DepEd on DRRM including the creation of its DRRM office, and DepEd’s DRRM work in accordance with Philippine and international laws.

She also discused the embodiment of DRRM in basic education, and the formation of DepEd Central Office DRRM Team and its compositions.

Meanwhile, Dr. Andres Winston Oreta, of the De La Salle University (DLSU), presented the “Strengthening of Schools (SOS)” tips and infographics which were aimed at increasing the preparedness and awareness of schools in times of emergencies.

“A safe school must promote a culture of safety where the students and teachers are aware of the risks to hazards and prepare to respond during emergencies and hazardous events,” he said.

The SOS tips and infographics consist of three modules focusing on emergency evacuation; wind, typhoon, and flood; and earthquakes.

Caraig thanked the subject matter experts and the public for taking part in the webinar, saying it was a step forward in strengthening the public’s emergency preparedness.

“Ang pagsisiguro sa kapakanan at kaligtasan ng lahat ng mga miyembro ng paaralan ay tungkulin at gampanin ng pamunuan ng eskwela kasama ang bawat guro, mag-aaral, magulang, pamayanan, at pamahalaan (Ensuring the safety and security of all members of a school is the duty and responsibilty of the school officials with every teachers, students, parents, community, and the government),” he said.

The OCD will hold two more webinars next week as part of the third quarter NSED which will be livestreamed in their official Facebook page. The webinars will focus on disaster preparedness for rural farmers and indigenous groups, and increasing the capacities of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and cooperatives during disasters.