February 21, 2022 – The Department of Education, through the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service (DRRMS), has provided financial support and psychosocial interventions in the Schools Division Office of Palawan.
As of February 15, DepEd has provided the MIMAROPA region, PhP 6.5 million of funds to respond to the immediate needs of schools that suffered heavy non-infrastructure and infrastructure damages due to Typhoon Odette.
“We urgently deployed support in the schools and offices in Palawan as they were the hardest-hit province in the MIMAROPA region, according to our Rapid Assessment of Damages Report (RADaR). We will ensure that our schools and their learners can return to a sense of normalcy as soon as possible,” Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones noted.
In the allocated fund, PhP 5.5 million will go to clean-up and minor repair activities of 274 schools in the Division of Palawan and Puerto Princesa City. The PhP 1 million general support funds can be used for the provision of learners’ and teachers’ kits (with hygiene-related items), emergency school feeding, the conduct of Psychosocial First Aid (PFA), and other immediate needs as identified by the region.
A total of 460 teaching personnel are trained in PFA to address issues and concerns of learners and personnel experiencing psycho-emotional distress brought by the onslaught of Typhoon Odette. PFA is currently ongoing for learners and personnel.
DepEd Quick Response and Recovery Team (QRRT) members, headed by the DRRMS, visited the affected schools in Puerto Princesa City, municipality of San Vicente, and Roxas Central District last February 7 to 10 to verify the reported damages and further assess its immediate needs and capacity critical for learning continuity and early recovery.
“Kaya kami bumababa dito sa field, para ma-prioritize na natin ano yung kailangan ninyo within the year at yung iba pa na pwedeng interventions. Gayundin para ma-rationalize ang paggamit natin ng QRF (Quick Response Fund),” DRRMS Director Ronilda Co said during the exit conference of the QRRT field visit held at San Jose High School.
Director Co encouraged the officials of SDO Palawan to aggressively act and coordinate with their focal persons in the regional office and the central office for immediate data collection and analysis, resource mobilization, and other response efforts which are vital for its early recovery and rehabilitation.
“Ang implementation ay nasa inyo, so kailangan natin ng matinding coordination. Kailangan natin alamin ano talaga ang critical na nasira sa mga paaralan na kapag hindi naayos ay hindi rin makakapag-aral nang mahusay ang mga bata, kailangan ninyong i-consider iyon,” Director Co added.