BAGUIO CITY – More than three hundred Baguio and Benguet students, teachers and parents were trained on basic tips on disaster preparedness during the launching of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) for Kids, coinciding with Brigada Eskwela 2016.
The two-day program was conducted on June 2-3, 2016 at Buyagan Elementary School, La Trinidad, Benguet and Lucban Elementary School, Baguio City, respectively.
“This is very timely since the topic of DRRM is now incorporated in the Senior High School program of DepEd,” said Lucio Alawas, the Chief Education Supervisor under the School Governance and Operations Division of DepEd Benguet.
In consonance with the Department of Education’s Brigada Eskwela theme, “Tayo para sa Paaralang Ligtas, Maayos at Handa,” OCD-CAR endeavors to not just prepare and enhance school facilities but to promote the students’ knowledge on disaster preparedness in the event of powerful typhoons or earthquakes.
“We would like to build disaster resilience through partnership with Department of Education,” OCD-CAR Public Information Officer Ivy Carasi stressed.
Kapitan Alerto, OCD-CAR’s action icon of preparedness was also launched. He interacted with the students and led the discussion on preparedness tips before, during and after typhoons. Tips include preparing a Go Bag or emergency supply kit containing water, food, medicine, clothes and batteries; staying tuned in with weather updates; and evacuating if threats like landslide and flooding are observed.
Students were also taught about what to do during an earthquake and the proper execution of the Duck, Cover and Hold earthquake response.
To keep the earthquake tips instilled in the students’ minds, stencils of the Duck, Cover and Hold earthquake response were sprayed on school walls.
Whistles that can be used by the students to call for help during calamities were also distributed.
To further reinforce the Information, Education and Communication campaign for DRRM, both schools were given disaster risk reduction posters, manuals and CDs. OCD-CAR staff also donated painting materials and helped in beautifying school facilities.
“We have implemented DRRM a long time ago but the knowledge of the teachers and the equipment is a bit outdated. So we invite people from offices like OCD to further improve our knowledge in terms of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management,” said Josefa Billieza, school principal of Buyagan Elementary School.
“This event is really helpful for the children, since it helps them become more prepared especially during this rainy season where there are more calamities,” Aileen Velazco, one of the parents from Buyagan Elementary School said.
Students also enjoyed various games and were given school supplies that were donated by SM Foundation Inc.
By Emil Ven Laudencio and Christianne Natividad