Schools should be spared from disaster evacuation, govt should build more evacuation centers – ACT


MANILA, Philippines — The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) party-list on Sunday said schools should not house calamity victims and the government should instead build more evacuation centers.

Tens of thousands in provinces south of the capital fled after Taal Volcano erupted last January 12.

Evacuees took shelter in about 91 schools in the Calabarzon region, which could not be used for classes.

ACT party-list Rep. France Castro said the government should instead build a common evacuation center for every 2 or 3 barangays, which would have enough comfort rooms and kitchens for evacuees.

Activist groups under the Makabayan bloc had proposed laws for this guideline since 2013, when typhoon Yolanda, the strongest storm to ever hit land, destroyed over 200,000 houses in the central Philippines, said Castro.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones had earlier said families that fled from Taal had to be relocated immediately because classes had to resume immediately.

Some 96,000 people are in evacuation centers in Batangas, Laguna and Cavite provinces due to Taal, which belched a giant ash cloud that reached Metro Manila last Jan. 12, said the disaster agency.

The second-highest alert in a 5-step system (Alert No. 4) remains hoisted over the volcano, which means “hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days,” state seismologists said. (Stacy Ang/IAMIGO/

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