The Department of Education (DepEd) is one with the nation as it faces Tropical Storm (TS) Urduja (international name Kai-Tak) which made landfall on Eastern Samar on December 16, and over Malay, Aklan on December 17, a few days before Christmas.
Reports issued by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) and DepEd – Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service (DRRMS) revealed the extent of TS Urduja which affected Regions IV-B, V, VI, VII, VIII, and CARAGA with its scattered to widespread moderate to heavy rains. According to the Disaster Response Assistance and Management Bureau (DREAMB) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), 35,188 families or 158,700 individuals from 326 barangays in Regions V, VIII, and CARAGA were affected as of December 16.
As always, DepEd’s public schools opened its doors to the victims of the tropical storm. As of the same date, a total of 23 schools were used as evacuation centers – one in Tobaco City and six in Sorsogon (Region V); and six in Eastern Samar, three in Ormoc City, and seven in Tacloban City (Region VIII).
While awaiting reports from other regions, the Department enjoins the public to relive the spirit of Bayanihan and extend the needed assistance to the affected communities through the DepEd – External Partnerships Service with telephone numbers (02) 6376462 to 64; 6374996; 6387110; and through the DepEd Regional Offices. Likewise, we call on everyone to take part in the subsequent relief and recovery efforts.
DepEd strongly believes that the Filipino resiliency and camaraderie will get us through these trying times, especially during this season of giving and sharing.