Gatchalian to DepEd: Have emergency plans in place for schools ahead of Taal’s possible “explosive eruption”

(Eagle News)–Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has urged the Department of Education to have emergency plans in place ahead of what the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said was Taal’s possible “explosive eruption.”

“Hindi pa lumilipas ang pinakamalalang maaaring mangyari sa pag-alboroto ng Bulkang Taal, kaya dapat nating paghandaan ang maaaring maging epekto ng isang malaking pagsabog,”  Gatchalian, chair of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, said.

For example, Gatchalian said it was important for the DepEd to have plans on how quickly schools can be cleaned to ensure the safety of students and teachers once classes start after that possible explosion.

According to Gatchalian’s office, based on the Education Cluster Report, DepEd said that almost 6 million learners in 46 divisions and more than 5,300 schools have been affected by Taal’s volcanic activity so far.

As it is, Gatchalian said if necessary,  the DepEd should  tap into its P2.1 billion quick response fund to address damages to schools.

Gatchalian  said that schools should also closely coordinate with their local governments since they are usually the first responders in times of calamity.

“Sa panahon ng mga sakuna, mahalaga ang papel ng ating kahandaan upang manatiling ligtas ang ating mga mag-aaral at hindi ma-antala ng matagal ang pagkatuto nila,” Gatchalian concluded.

An alert level 4 remains hoisted over Taal, with the “hazardous explosive eruption” possible within hours or days, PHIVOLCS said.