Press Release
November 2, 2019


After the recent 6.6 magnitude earthquake that strongly hit Tulunan, Province of Cotobato, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported that there are 95 schools from the total of 1,133 damaged structures in Mindanao. This affected more than 4 million students in the quake-hit areas. I extend my sympathies to the bereaved families of those who died in this tragedy. Of the five people who died after the quake, a 15-year old student was reported killed by falling debris in Kasuga National High School, Magsaysay, Davao del Sur. These unfortinate reports underscore the importance of keeping our schools in Mindanao safe in the aftermath of disaster.

According to the Department of Education (DepEd), its Quick Response Fund (QRF) of P2 billion for this year has been used up on disasters from last year and the first two quarters of this year. Therefore, I strongly urge DepEd and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to agree on a supplemental QRF, which can be sourced from the rest of this year's National Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Program's P20 billion allocation.

To help schools resume normal operations and prepare for potential earthquakes, I also urge DepEd to coordinate with local government units in formulating emergency response plans. Repairing damaged school structures should also be done seismically to mitigate the damage of future earthquakes. Mahalaga na matugunan agad natin ito dahil kapakanan ng mga bata at mga guro ang nakasalalay dito.

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