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DepEd Urges LGUs to Avoid Using Schools as Evacuation Centers to Prevent Learning Disruptions

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) has appealed to local government units (LGUs) to refrain from using schools as evacuation centers during the upcoming rainy season to avoid disruptions in students’ learning.

DepEd spokesperson Undersecretary Michael Poa raised this concern during a recent council meeting with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). He emphasized the significant impact on students’ education when schools are used for extended periods as evacuation centers.

“We have given our position that schools should no longer be used as evacuation centers because some people unavoidably stay in schools for a long time, and it really hampers classes and results in learning disruptions,” Poa said in an interview with Super Radyo dzBB.

“Even learners who were not severely affected by calamities are unable to return to classes because the school is being used as an evacuation center,” he added.

According to the revised DepEd Order 37, signed by Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte, schools can be used as immediate evacuation sites during disasters but should not be utilized for more than 15 days.

Class Cancellation Protocols

Classes from kindergarten to Grade 12 and work in public schools are automatically canceled in areas where the state weather bureau PAGASA raises Tropical Cyclone Wind Signals 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. In preparation for the upcoming La Niña phenomenon, Poa stated that DepEd will continue implementing alternative delivery modes if face-to-face classes need to be suspended. Repairs and rehabilitation of classrooms are ongoing to ensure readiness for the rainy season, despite budget constraints.

Infrastructure for Safer and Resilient Schools (ISRS) Project

Last Wednesday, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board approved the P30.56-billion Infrastructure for Safer and Resilient Schools (ISRS) Project, aimed at rehabilitating and reconstructing school facilities outside Metro Manila damaged by calamities from 2019 to 2023.

DepEd has highlighted this ISRS Project as a critical part of Vice President Duterte’s MATATAG agenda. The project, which will be implemented from 2025 to 2029, is expected to benefit 4,756 school buildings, 13,101 classrooms, and around 741,038 learners in 1,282 target school beneficiaries.

As classes remain on break, DepEd’s proactive measures aim to mitigate the impact of the rainy season and ensure continuous learning for students across the country.


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