Save 20% off! Join our newsletter and get 20% off right away!

DepEd sets out contingency plans for schools transected by West Valley Fault

PASIG CITY, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) has laid out contingency plans for schools that may be affected by the West Valley Fault (WVF) to ensure the safety of students and teachers who are expected to be back in school.
Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro FSC inspected Pedro E. Diaz High School (PEDHS), Alabang Elementary School, and Buli Elementary School on May 28. Upon consultation with PHIVOLCS and engineers on the structural integrity of the buildings in these schools, Luistro explained that the school opening for the two schools in Muntinlupa—PEDHS and Alabang ES—will still be on June 1.
“Kung mapatunayan ng engineers na nasa ibabaw ng fault [ang building], ito ay titibagin. Kung malapit o nasa buffer zone, ire-retrofit ang mga building,” Luistro said.
He added, “Ang matitirang open spaces ay magkakaroon ng permanent markers na nagsasaad na hindi siya maaaring puntahan.” He said that the permanent markers also include information on Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM).
“Ang mga building na hindi magagamit sa Pedro E. Diaz ay hindi makakaapekto sa pasukan,” PEDHS principal Estrella Aseron said. She added that academic classes will be scheduled in the morning while technical-vocational classes will be held in the afternoon at the Alternative Learning System (ALS) center of the school. Academic classes will be held at PEDHS while technical-vocational classes will be at the nearby Alternative Learning System (ALS) center
Mauro de Gulan, Schools Division Superintendent of DepEd-Muntinlupa, said, “Isasara ang mga building na apektado para ligtas ang mga mag-aaral.”
Furthermore, DepEd is also preparing for the temporary learning spaces at Buli Elementary School. Classes at Buli ES will start on June 8 because the school has to ensure necessary preparations for the required number of classrooms. “Ang Buli ES po ay tatayuan ng Senior High School. Ipapa-review natin kung mayroon pang magagawa sa mga pahapyaw na madadaanan ng West Valley Fault,” de Gulan added.
DepEd has also set out contingency plans for Karahume Elementary School in Norzagaray, Bulacan, which will also have its first day of classes on June 1. School officials and personnel will orient the community leaders, around 50% of whom are Dumagats, regarding the precautionary measures during an earthquake. DepEd has also sought the assistance of the local government of Karahume while waiting for the assessment of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources regarding early evacuation.
While the school building at Barangka NHS is not traversed by the WVF, part of it is still within the five-meter buffer zone. The engineers have reported that the school building is structurally sound. DepEd has taken precautionary measures for the safety of the teachers and students. Classes will be temporarily held at Tanong HS for Grades 7 and 8 and at J. dela Pena NHS for Grades 9 and 10, and will start on June 1. DPWH will also put up a seismic gap, a structural intervention to lessen the potential impact in the event of an earthquake.
DepEd has existing and ongoing support to strengthen the preparedness and mitigation response of its schools and field offices nationwide. This includes quarterly emergency drills and integration of DRRM concepts in the curriculum. In partnership with other agencies, non-government organizations, and local government, DepEd has also developed learning materials that include understanding and preparing for the occurrence of disasters such as earthquakes. DepEd also has a continued partnership with PHIVOLCS in reinforcing and updating existing learning materials that will include engagement of families on earthquake preparedness.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.