With the goal of fortifying their respective disaster preparedness plans, DepEd Region XII conducted a three-day Contingency Plan Enhancement for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Coordinators from January 30 to February 1, 2023, at Isla Jardin del Mar, Glan, Sarangani Province.

Fifty-five participants from the eight schools divisions in Region XII, led by their respective DRRM Coordinators, attended the workshop.

The Contingency Plan Enhancement was divided into several sessions, each focusing on different aspects of DRRM, such as hazard assessment, evacuation planning, and post-disaster recovery.

The sessions were conducted by the Project Development Officer II of DepEd XII, Jann Earl Wendell J. Lope, and the attendees were given opportunities to actively participate in group discussions and exercises.

Lope expressed confidence in the capability of the DRRM Coordinators to effectively lead disaster response and recovery efforts in their respective schools and divisions.

“The Contingency Plan Enhancement is part of the ongoing efforts to strengthen DRRM in the region and ensure that all schools are prepared to respond to disasters,” Lope said.

He emphasized that having well-prepared contingency plans is crucial to minimize the impact of disasters on the education sector.

He also highlighted the significance of learning continuity, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has taught everyone the importance of being able to continue education despite disruptions.

Nesty Joy T. Pello of Cotabato Province Division noted that while their primary responsibility as DRRM coordinators is the safety of our learners and teachers, as educators, they should also focus on learning continuity.

“We must also ensure that their education is not disrupted, especially during times of crisis. I subscribe to what our former Secretary had said that ‘Education must continue’,” she explained.

The division DRRM coordinators presented their contingency plans for a specific type of disaster that could occur in their areas.

Some of the disaster scenarios presented included flash floods, typhoons, and earthquakes. Others drafted contingency plans for man-made hazards like armed conflicts and terrorism.

Marlon P. Agad, PDO II – DRMM of SDO Sarangani brought to light flooding incidents that affected several schools in Sarangani Province over the years.

“Our data show that flooding is the most common type of emergency happening in our province. So, we have to define the roles and responsibilities of key people so that we would know what to do during times of risk,” he said.

The contingency plans included measures such as evacuation procedures, communication protocols, and post-disaster recovery efforts.

Representatives from each division provided feedback to improve the plans.

They also shared their experiences and best practices in DRRM, allowing them to learn from each other.

The participants expressed their satisfaction with the outcome of the workshop, with many saying that they were able to learn from each other and gain a better understanding of what is required to create a solid disaster contingency plan.

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