The Department of Education (DepEd) joined other government and non-government organizations in bringing to national attention the need to reduce risks caused by disasters and provide protection to vulnerable sectors, especially children.
During the commemoration of the United Nations (UN)-declared International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR), which falls on October 13 of every year, the Philippines observed the ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] Day for Disaster Management (ADDM) along with other ASEAN member countries.
In the event, Education Undersecretary Lino Rivera reiterated the role of the DepEd in managing the impact of disasters and the need for vigilance by school communities, so the risk from natural and man-made disasters can be significantly, if not totally, reduced.
“It is important that government agencies and our partners in the private sector work together in formulating, planning, and implementing disaster risk reduction policies, plans and projects,” said Rivera.
Many people around the world have lost or are in danger of losing their lives, properties, and access to basic services every time natural disasters strike. Disasters such as earthquakes, droughts, typhoons, hurricanes, flooding, and fires have caused untold suffering to people, especially among children.
The UN acknowledges that education, training, and information exchanges are effective ways to help people become better equipped in overcoming natural disasters.
In addition, October is also declared as the National Children’s Month. The event emphasizes the role of children within the family and society. This lends significance to the theme of this year’s observance of the IDDR and ADDM: “Making Children and Young People Partners in Disaster Risk Reduction.”
The theme puts into focus the role of children and youth as a potential resource. Children can be valuable in raising awareness on disaster risk reduction and can contribute to decision-making on disaster risk management.
Other government and non-government organization which include the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, World Vision, United Nations Children Emergency Fund, Save the Children, are enjoined to involve the participation of the youth in disaster risk reduction advocacies.