Press Release
November 15, 2012

Legarda urges DRR practices in schools, hails ASEAN winner
on disaster preparedness

Senator Loren Legarda today urged all schools in the country to institutionalize disaster preparedness measures to ensure the safety of children in the event natural hazards occur.

Legarda, the United Nations Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific, made the statement as she lauded the Iliranan Elementary School in San Carlos, Negros Occidental for winning second place in the 2012 Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) - Japan Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Award. There were 17 other school contenders from the Philippines.

"It is very reassuring to see that learning institutions, schoolchildren and our youth are becoming directly involved in efforts to make our communities safe from disasters. Institutionalizing disaster preparedness practices in our schools is crucial in making every community disaster-resilient and also because children are most vulnerable to disasters," she stressed.

The Iliranan Elementary School was chosen as one of the winners for their Iliranan Disaster Education Programme (IDEP) and School and Community Always Prepared and Equipped for Disaster (SCAPED). Earlier, the same school was also bestowed the ASEAN Eco-Friendly Schools Award, a recognition given to learning institutions that promote environmentally-sustainable policies.

"I encourage all schools and the whole education sector to give due focus in making our schools safe from all kinds of hazards. Schools are critical public infrastructures that serve as second home to our children and emergency refuge in times of disaster. Aside from ensuring safe physical structure, schools must have disaster preparedness and contingency plans so that students will survive and continue their schooling in the aftermath of disasters," the Senator said.

"In making our nation disaster-resilient, we not only protect our young people, but also invest in our country's future," Legarda concluded.

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