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PASIG CITY, July 25, 2019 – The Department of Education’s (DepEd) Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service (DRRMS), in partnership with the Bureau of Fire Protection–National Capital Region (BFP–NCR), held the Fire Square Road Show on Wednesday in celebration of the National Disaster Resilience Month.

BFP-NCR District IV Fire Marshall Senior Superintendent, Ricardo Perdigon, explained that the Fire Square Road Show is the agency’s frontline program for imparting awareness on fire prevention and response. This event was designed to primarily train children in disaster response.

With fire being a secondary hazard among major disasters, notably the “Big One” or a magnitude 7.2 earthquake which will affect the Greater Metro Manila Area, Perdigon called for collective action from the public. He underscored that in worst-case scenarios, the fire department will need the assistance of the education sector in preparing for, responding to, and most especially preventing fire.

Through informative and interactive booths, DepEd personnel were exposed to firefighting techniques, simulations of collapsed structures, and electrical safety in partnership with Meralco. Basic first aid was demonstrated through cardio pulmonary resuscitation, and bandaging and splinting booths. Ropemanship, knot tying, rappelling, and warning signages and safety practices were likewise featured.

Undersecretary for Legislative Affairs, External Partnerships, and Project Management Service, Tonisito Umali, Esq., commended DepEd’s strengthened partnership with the BFP under the leadership of Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones. Such partnership is vital as 15,662 schools nationwide experienced fire from School Years 2009-2010 to 2017-2018, as stated by DRRMS Director Ronilda Co.

Through DepEd’s Fire Safety and Awareness Program, which was strengthened by Department Order No. 28, s. 2016, schools are already enjoined to develop their own fire safety plans, facilitate BFP safety inspections, and conduct quarterly fire drills and fire safety lectures, among others.

As part of the annual celebration, the DRRMS partnered with national government agencies and non-government organizations to advocate for and strengthen disaster resilience. The Earthquake Resilience Forum tackled various scenarios and protocols centered on the “Big One” on the first day of the celebration.

DepEd personnel may continue to visit booths of the National Education Cluster Partners and Education Resilience Working Group (ERWG) including UNICEF, World Vision, SEAMEO INNOTECH, Save the Children, Unilab Foundation, Philippine Red Cross, Assistance and Cooperation for Resilience and Development Inc., Plan International, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, and Center for Humanitarian Learning and Innovation until July 25.