The city government of Taguig has distributed emergency kits to 23 elementary and 13 secondary schools as part of its disaster risk reduction and preparedness program in the event a big quake hit Metro Manila.
City officials and representatives from the Department of Education over the weekend led the distribution of 68,750 “grab bags” containing items used for emergency situations like whistle, mineral water, medicine, face mask, power bar, alcohol and first aid kit.
DepEd Schools Division Superintendent Benjamin Samson said grab bags have been strategically placed in areas inside the school where they are easily accessible to the young students.
“The importance of these grab bags is to ensure that in the event of an emergency be it an earthquake, flash flood and other disasters, our students will have something ready to survive and get to safety,” he added.
The distribution of grab bags is part of the city’s “Correct and Accurate Response for Emergency in the Schools” or “CARES” program, which was established under the administration of Mayor Laarni Cayetano in 2010 to address the disaster reduction management and awareness needs of all the public schools.
Aside from the grab bags, the program has provided megaphones, fire extinguishers, fire- and waterproof vaults for important documents inside the schools.
The city government in coordination with the Education department continuously conduct yearly disaster risk reduction seminars and trainings for teachers and students including the Batang Emergency Response Team or BERT — a program where several student leaders are specifically trained for emergency response purposes to prepare them in case teachers are not in the vicinity.
“The objective is to assure all the Taguigeños that their kids are in safe hands even inside the school premises,” Samson said.
He stressed that these steps taken are necessary since Taguig, along with nine other cities in Metro Manila, is situated along the 100-kilometer West Valley Fault line susceptible to a big earthquake.
This year, the local government plans to install in all public schools city a Public Address System that will significantly improve the efficiency of information dissemination inside school premises in cases of emergencies.
Taguig City received the Seal of Disaster Preparedness (SDP) for Level 1 assessment from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in 2012.