The Department of Education (DepEd) said that classes in 22 schools located in Agoncillo and Laurel in Batangas remain suspended amid Taal Volcano’s unrest.
Based on the data from DepEd Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service (DRRMS), a total of eight (8) schools located in the Permanent and Extended Danger Zones (PDZ), were directly affected by the emergency.
As a result, the local government units of Agoncillo and Laurel declared suspension of classes in 22 schools.
Based on the rapid assessment conducted by the DepEd Quick Response and Recovery Team (QRRT) as of April 3, partial data shows a total of 1,275 learners and 132 personnel evacuated in designated evacuation centers (ECs).
DepEd said that 82 learners opted to evacuate with their relatives within the municipalities. Some 35 learners were also displaced to other provinces and regions, the department said.
Meanwhile, DepEd assured the safety of more than a thousand learners affected by the recent eruption of the Taal volcano that started last March 26.
“Ating babantayan ang mga learners na magiging safe sila (We’re looking after our learners to ensure that they are safe),” Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said.
DepEd, she added, is also monitoring the permanent danger zones because there are places considered as danger zones but might be holding face-to-face classes.
“Pero may eskuwelahan o wala, talagang di na yan pwede na magkaroon tayo ng klase doon at activities ng mga bata (Whether or not there are schools, classes and other activities are prohibited here),” Briones said.
Briones also shared that DepEd is working closely with the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in monitoring and providing relief to affected schools in Schools Division Office (SDO) in Batangas.
Briones said that DOH provided DepEd with health kits that can be used by children and schools as well.
Related to this, Briones said that DepEd has “improved its capacity for preparedness and response measures.”
Briones also emphasized that DepEd had lessons and experiences gathered as she physically visited affected schools in Batangas after the Taal volcano eruption last 2020.