DepEd assures assistance to over 15M learners, 35K schools exposed to ‘Odette’

Published December 18, 2021, 11:37 AM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

Typhoon Odette (international name: “Rai”) has exposed more than 15 million learners and over 35,000 schools in the affected areas.


Partial data from the Department of Education (DepEd) as of Dec. 17 showed that there are 15,960,185 learners and 35,698 schools exposed to “Odette.” These learners and schools are located in 156 exposed divisions in 12 regions.

During the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) meeting with President Duterte on Friday, DepEd Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service (DRRMS) Director Ronilda Co said that the agency is continuously monitoring the impact of “Odette” on the education sector.

“May mga naka-antabay na pondo para assistance [such as] teachers’ kits or learners kits and psychological first aid kung kinakailangan (There are funds on stand by to be used for assistance [such as] teachers’ kits or learners kits and psychological first aid if needed,” she said.

Even before the onslaught of “Odette,” Co said that DepEd has already directed the affected regions to prepare accordingly.

“We also reiterated the preparedness protocols and measures of DepEd in over 35,000 exposed schools at mga bata at personnel na nandun sa pagdating ng bagyong Odette (and to the children and personnel who are there on the arrival of typhoon Odette),” Co said.

Co explained that days before “Odette” pummeled the affected areas, DepEd — through the local government units (LGUs) — also announced the suspension of classes,

“We also have, through the LGUs, announced the suspension of classes in more than 23,000 schools,” Co explained.

Based on the partial data from DepEd, classes in all levels are suspended in nine regions including CARAGA, IV-B, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X and XI.

Classes in 23, 298 schools in 96 DepEd Divisions were suspended as early as Dec. 15.

To assess the damages in the aftermath of “Odette,” Co said that DepEd also activated the rapid assessment report coming directly from the schools affected.

The reporting, Co explained, is done through SMS. However, she mentioned that there are difficulties in gathering the reports due to the widespread power outage in the affected areas. Co expressed hope that the power supply in the affected areas will be restored soon so DepEd can resume communicating with the schools.

DepEd, Co said, is also monitoring the extent of damage brought by “Odette” to the schools. “We also started looking into damages that need repair,” she said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Co explained that DepEd will be monitoring both the infrastructure and non- infrastructure damages in the aftermath of “Odette” — especially those that need repair and rehabilitation.


DepEd: 10.7 million students in over 26K schools affected by typhoon ‘Odette’