Press Release
January 17, 2020


Sen. Manuel "Lito" Lapid wants to require all primary and secondary schools in the country to teach subjects on disaster awareness and disaster mitigation.

In his proposed bill,(Senate Bill 1140) filed last November 2019, the Senator seeks to integrate in the curricula of primary and secondary schools, subject that fully explain the natural and man-made disasters in order to instill disaster preparedness.

The Senator believes it is important for the Filipino youth to appreciate sufficient preparedness for calamities that may strike the country anytime.

Citing the data from Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), he said that an average of 20 typhoons enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) every year, bringing in dangerous storm surges, floods and strong winds which often destroy properties and lives of our countrymen.

The Philippines is also ranked as among the most disaster-prone countries in the world. Because of the country's geographical condition, it is vulnerable to earthquakes, tsunami, floods, droughts and volcanic eruption such as the recent explosion of Taal Volcano in Batangas.

"Mahalaga na bago pa man tumama ang kalamidad sa ating bansa, nakahanda na ang ating mga kababayan. Hindi na sapat ang rumeresponde na lamang tayo dahil may nasira ng istruktura o may nasaktan na tayong kababayan. Kailangan maaga pa lang ay maiwasan na natin ang may masaktan at masirang mga ari-arian," Lapid said.

Senator Lapid stressed that in response to these disasters which likely to hit the country every year, the government along with the educational institutions should promote a proactive disaster preparedness program.

The bill also pushes to teach the students active participation in disaster mitigation, which will help the country in the long run.

Senator Lapid noted that in a research presented at the recent National Conference on National Disaster Mitigation, it was mentioned that the " Filipino people are more reactionary than anticipatory in their disaster-preparedness and hazard awareness programs." The research also indicated that proactive planning is not a priority in the majority of the Filipino population, particularly those under the low income bracket.

Lapid pushes for a law that will strengthen the Filipinos and not leave then helpless victims of calamities. "Napapanahon na gumawa tayo ng hakbang para lubos pang maprotektahan ang ating mga kababayan sa pamamagitan ng panukalang ito na siguradong makapagpapababa ng pinsalang hatid ng mga paparating na kalamidad (It is about time that we take a step further in protecting our people by minimizing the loss of lives and property damage)," Lapid said.

"Lahat ito ay magsisimula sa pag-aarmas ng ating mga kabataan ng mga kaalaman ukol sa mga sakuna bilang bahagi ng kurikulum sa paaralan at sa ganoong paraan ay mabuhay sa kanila ang diwa ng pagiging makabuluhang kasapi ng pamayanan (All this could start from a simple information drive in the schools with the hope that the Filipino youth can someday lead a proactive and dynamic society," Lapid concluded.

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