DepEd to LGUs: Place shelters outside schools
MANILA, Philippines — With the apparent extended wait for a possible explosive eruption of Taal, the use of some schools in Region 4-A as evacuation centers will go beyond the period set by law for the use of schools as temporary emergency shelters, according to Education Secretary Leonor Briones.
“It’s hard to plan. We don’t know how Taal will behave,” Briones said in Filipino.
“We are negotiating, pleading with LGU (local government unit) officials, if they can identify other spaces. Other places (where evacuation centers can be put up),” Briones said.
The DepEd chief said that a 2015 law has mandated the use of public schools only “as a last resort.”
Republic Act No. 10821, or the Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act, and its implementing guidelines set a maximum period of 15 days for the use of schools as emergency shelters, Briones said.
Earlier, Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said the DepEd was preparing to set up temporary learning spaces (TLS) in evacuation centers to allow the resumption of classes for students affected by the Taal eruption.
Malaluan said the DepEd will wait for recommendations on the TLS that will be needed specifically for the Taal eruption evacuation centers.
“TLS provisions have not yet been determined because the configuration of these is not yet determined. Unlike in other calamities where damage and evacuation areas are already certain,” the official said.
“We will continue to monitor and make representations within DRM (disaster risk management) councils or national agencies, based on developments tomorrow,” Malaluan stressed.
Briones had earlier issued DepEd Memorandum Order No. 3, which allows learners affected by the Taal eruption to transfer to public schools in unaffected areas even without submitting requirements for admission there.