Teachers, students required to join metro-wide quake drill on July 30
The Department of Education is requiring teachers and students to participate in the metrowide earthquake drill on July 30.
In a statement on Thursday, Education Assistant Secretary Reynaldo Laguda Jr. said a memorandum has been issued requiring the participation of teachers and students.
The statement said the agency has issued Department Order 27, s. 2015, which would promote family earthquake preparedness through school activities, but it was unclear if this was the same memorandum that required the teachers and students’ participation in the July 30 event.
School activities include learners answering a series of questions highlighting family preparedness with their families, teachers discussing the results and extracting the “learnings appropriate for their respective communities,” and principals discussing the “summary of their findings with the parents-teachers associations and barangay officials for consideration in the school and community preparedness planning.”
“We strongly believe that disaster preparedness should be anchored on family preparedness not just individual readiness. We want families to imagine scenarios and prepare with their communities,” Laguda said.
The statement said DO 27, s. 2015 also “supports previous DepEd orders on school-based preparedness measures such as the conduct of drills, identification of risks, among others.”
“DepEd will also be meeting with public school principals from NCR and surrounding provinces affected by the Valley Fault System in the coming week to ensure that this is fully complied with,” Laguda said.
Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations Executive Director Rene San Andres for his part emphasized the importance of sharing the best practices among schools “to further strengthen each institution’s programs for school safety.”
Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology Director Renato Solidum, Jr. said there was a need to “imagine … what can happen to us.”
“In your school or classroom building, you need to imagine your environment after the earthquake,” he said.
“We hope that everyone continues to seek the right information and to act appropriately and proactively to increase the level of preparedness not just for earthquakes but for other risks as well,” Laguda said.
Meanwhile, in an ambush interview after a meeting with mall operators, MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino emphasized the importance of the disaster preparedness of commercial establishments, which he said would necessarily be “magnets for quake victims” should a disaster of this kind strike.
“They will really go there. Because that’s where the food and clothing are. We can’t avoid that,” he said.
He also encouraged malls to invest in disaster equipment, and to develop their own “roll-call method” to account for every employee should a disaster strike.
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