Elementary students and teachers in Boljoon and Malabuyoc towns, south of Cebu greeted facilitators from Provincial Capitol with much enthusiasm upon their arrival for the #AndamSugbo La Niña Information Campaign.
It was the last day of the two-month awareness campaign tour for different elementary schools around the province.
Students were taught about general preparedness for La Niña which includes what to do before, during and after disasters.
Children’s hands shoot up in response to questions about disaster scenarios following the short lecture and film showing on the effects of La Niña.
“Bagyo, baha ug landslide ang posibleng mahitabo kung adunay La Niña,” shared Grade 1 student Liza Mae Sesaldo when asked what will happen when La Niña or torrential rains occur.
Liza’s friend, Ailene Sesante added that she learned of the importance of trees.
“Mananum ta ug dili dapat putlon ang mga kahoy sa bukid kay ang mga kahoy mokupot sa yuta ug musuyop sa tubig para dili mag-landslide,” she shared.
Disaster preparedness, risk reduction and climate change adaptation are some of the top priorities of Governor Hilario P. Davide III’s administration.
Davide prioritized the needs of communities especially disaster-prone areas to ensure that those at risk are better prepared in the growing threat of climate change.
Launched July of this year, #AndamSugbo La Niña Information Campaign is a pilot program initiated by the Provincial Government in partnership with SMART Communications and Department of Education (DepEd) 7.
It aims to educate school children about the occurrence of La Niña and to teach them skills to protect themselves against various disasters.
Since then, about 10,000 elementary students had been taught about La Niña awareness in 20 local government units (LGUs) with high risk of flooding and landslide in Cebu Province.
The #AndamSugbo team reached Mandaue City, Consolacion, Talisay City, Minglanilla, San Fernando, Carcar City, Asturias, Tuburan, Naga City, Ronda, Alcantara, Toledo City, Balamban, Dumanjug, Badian, Dalaguete, Argao, Pinamungajan, Boljoon and Malabuyoc.
The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) identified top ten flood-prone LGUs and another top ten for landslide-prone LGUs.
DepEd 7 then identified three elementary schools per LGU with the highest risk of flooding and landslide.
PDRRMO Chief Baltazar Tribunalo said “education plays a vital role in preparing communities. building disaster resilient societies and save lives.”
“Education on risk reduction, disaster preparedness can provide life saving information and skills that protects children and young people during and after disasters,” he added.
Through the effectiveness of this approach, LGU chiefs, barangay officials, teachers and parents were grateful of the Province’s initiative to provide the children life-saving lessons.
“Maayo ni nga programaha makahibaw ang mga bata aron kung nay maabot nga katalagman, di na sila matingala ug makahibaw na sila sa ilang buhaton,” expressed Ludina Dawrollon, a mother of four children enrolled at Caipilan ES.
Dr. Roland Villegas, DRRM Focal Person of DepEd 7 committed to replicate the said program to all schools in the Province, reaching even other provinces in Region 7.
“Nagpasalamat mi sa Cebu Province ug sa SMART sa pag-bisita sa among lugar nga bisan layo kaayo inyoha gyud ming gitagaan ug pagtagad. Ang kini nga programa makatabang kini sa mga bata ug sa ilang pamilya,” expressed Becerril ES principal Fe Verana.
“Unprepared communities are the most affected by disasters. We can’t just depend solely on the government. We need to help each other. With this program, we can also depend on our children as well,” said Barangay Lunop councilor Efren Medido. (Heart Rizarri)