For this year’s observance of the National Disaster Consciousness Month (NDCM), the Department of Education (DepEd) joins the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in pushing for better appreciation of the disaster preparedness programs of the government, and promoting disaster risk reduction (DRR) as a civic duty and a personal responsibility of every Filipino.
Pursuant to Executive Order No. 137 s. 1999 declaring the Month of July of every year as National Disaster Consciousness Month (NDCM), the DepEd has enjoined the support and active participation of all DepEd personnel in this month’s celebration.
With the theme “Kahandaan at Pagtugon sa Sakuna, Tungkulin ng Bawat Isa”, DepEd issued a memorandum dated July 1, 2016 enjoining all regional and division offices to observe the NDCM in accordance with DO 23, s. 2016 entitled School Calendar for School Year (SY) 2016-2017.
All schools and DepEd regional and division officers are expected to undertake relevant activities that emphasize disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) education, such as: displaying of streamers indicating this year’s theme; orientation on the different health hazards; devoting time for discussion of preparedness, mitigation and prevention during the rainy season in class; symposium or forum on DRRM; conduct of jingle-making and mascot design contests; and other related activities to ensure heightened awareness and consciousness of all DepEd personnel.
Furthermore, all schools and offices are encouraged to coordinate with their local DRRM councils (LDRRMC) and concerned agencies, to conduct multi-hazard drills to mark the significance of the occasion.
Culture of safety starts in the family
As culmination of the NDCM, DepEd-DRRMS partnered with SM Supermalls to hold “Rain Ready Set Go”. Held at SM City Masinag in Antipolo City, the event aimed to bring students and their families together to increase their awareness and preparedness for La Niña and the rainy season.
Attended by selected students from Marikina Elementary School (MES), San Roque Elementary School (SRES), Sta. Elena High School (SEHS), and San Roque National High School (SRNHS)—the two-hour activity kicked off with a puppet show courtesy of the representatives from Smart Communications with some of the student-participants acting as puppeteers and voice talents.
Ger Anne Marie Duran from PAGASA-DOST gave a lecture on the La Niña phenomenon to help students and parents understand how said phenomenon affects the weather system, and what preparations to make in its occurrence.
“Marami po akong natutuhan sa mga aktibidad na ginawa. Magagamit ko po ang mga ito bilang paghahanda sa pagharap sa mga darating na kalamidad,” Marcelio Pamisa, a grade 9 student of SRNES said.
Participants also answered picture puzzles, listened to true stories of survival, and learned basic life support from volunteers from the National Red Cross.
“The participants had a great time while keeping themselves equipped with disaster preparedness,” said John Rey Sunggayan, a faculty member of SRNES.
Pledge signing concluded the activity as the participants’ manifestation of support and commitment in promoting the culture of safety, an advocacy of the DepEd and its partners which include SM Prime, Smart Communications, PAGASA-DOST, CCP, and National Red Cross.
Previously, DepEd issued several policies aimed to strengthen the DRRM practices and programs in schools and offices relating to the four thematic areas of DRRM, namely: disaster prevention and mitigation, disaster preparedness, disaster response, disaster recovery and rehabilitation.