Solon wants early calamity preparedness

IN a bid to foster a culture of preparedness among Filipinos, administration bet Sen. Sonny Angara proposed the inclusion of disaster risk education in the curriculum of primary schools.

Angara, a candidate of Hugpong ng Pagbabago and PDP Laban, underscored the need to improve the young learners’ understanding of preparedness and response, as well as hone their readiness in dealing with natural calamities.

“Since we live in a country where earthquakes and typhoons are very common, it is imperative that every Filipino is equipped with the basic understanding and knowledge of disaster preparedness and response,” Angara said.

The solon said the government can start by teaching the children how to prepare for and respond to different types of calamities.

“We have to produce a generation that knows how to deal with threats posed by natural disasters and climate change,” he added.

Angara’s proposal to require disaster awareness and mitigation education in primary schools formed part of Senate Bill 1994 which he filed last year.

The bill primarily seeks to create the Department of Disaster Resilience—a single, independent and permanent government agency devoted to disaster management and resilience.

The provision on mandatory disaster risk education in SB 1994 expands the present law, Republic Act 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, which mandates the integration of disaster risk and management education in the curriculum of secondary and tertiary levels of education, including the National Service Training Program or NSTP.

“The preparedness skills training in the classroom must be designed in such a way that children will develop a sense of responsibility to share with their family members whatever knowledge they acquired about disaster preparedness and response,” he said.

Based on the 2016 World Risk Index, the Philippines ranked third in terms of vulnerability to natural hazards and climate change. Every year, the country experiences almost all forms of natural disasters such as typhoons, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods and landslides.