Lapid: Teach disaster awareness, preparedness in schools

Sen. Lito Lapid. (Photo courtesy by CNN Ph)

MANILA, Philippines — 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), Lapid 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 said 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.

This bring 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.

“It is important  that before a calamity hit the country,  our people should be prepared.  It’s not enough that we just respond in case a structure was destroyed or somebody was hurt,” said Lapid.

He further said it is important that we should avoid anybody getting injured or properties being destroyed.

In response to these disasters which likely to hit the country every year, Lapid said 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.

He  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 has been  pushing for a law that will strengthen the Filipinos and not leave then helpless victims of calamities.

Lapid said it is about time that we take a step further in protecting our people by minimizing the loss of lives and property damage.

“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 added. (Stacy Ang/IAMIGO/

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