July 6, 2020 — In line with the observance of the National Disaster Resilience Month (NDRM) 2020, the Department of Education (DepEd), through the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service (DRRMS) formally launched its official DRRMS mascot “Ready Kid”.

Equipped with protective gear and a go-bag, Ready Kid is set to serve as the face of resilient young Filipinos who are prepared to face the challenges of natural and human-induced hazards.

“To develop a culture of resilience and preparedness among our learners, we must let them know [through Ready Kid] that children are agents of change,” DepEd DRRMS Director Ronilda Co said.

Citing the findings of a joint report from UN Habitat and the UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Director Co noted that disease outbreaks coinciding with extreme natural and human-induced hazards poses a new challenge on reducing disaster risk.

Underscoring the importance of preparedness and resilience to face the challenges brought by the pandemic, the program also featured COVID-19 survivors, including Dr. Ted Esguerra, who shared his story and experience in overcoming all sufferings from COVID-19.

The launch coincided with the eight episode of DepEd’s Wellness Check Series entitled Resilience in the midst of a Pandemic: A Message of Hope from a COVID-19 Survivor, a weekly online program on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services (MHPSS) of the Department.

The program featured Dr. Ted Esguerra who shared his story and experience as a COVID-19 survivor. He said through prayers, a positive mentality, patience, passion, and perseverance, he was able to overcome all of his sufferings and recover from COVID-19. He also underscored the importance of preparedness and resilience in facing his challenges, which was strengthened by his relationship with himself, other people, and the Higher Being.

Towards the end of the program Director Co drew from the lessons Dr. Ted imparted which highlighted the need for consciousness of one’s own needs, the needs of others, the needs of the environment, and collaboration.

“What we need lies beyond ourselves. Kailangan natin ang isa’t-isa,” Co said.

Guided by the theme “Sama-samang Pagsulong Tungo sa Katatagan sa Gitna ng Bagong Normal”, this year’s National Disaster Resilience Month observance highlights the goal of strengthening disaster resilience the whole country adapts towards the “new normal” brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic.