Sunday, February 16, 2014

167 families join flood evacuation drill in Surigao Sur town

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

SURIGAO DEL SUR, Feb. 16 (PIA) - Around 167 families with 712 dependents living near the river bank of Tago River joined the flood evacuation drill held on Saturday, Feb. 15 in Barangay Poblacion, San Miguel, this province.

During the briefing, Walter Alquiza GIZ Senior Advisor highlighted some important protocols on the activity. He was joined by the provincial and municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management officers and some council members.

"People living in flood-prone areas are vulnerable if they don’t know the risks they are facing and do not know what they can do to prepare and respond to the disaster,” said Alquiza.

The recent two consecutive floods early this year have affected Puroks 9 and 10 in Barangay Poblacion. "The floodwaters reached almost neck level," recalled Barangay Kagawad Sol Alanzado.

"The rescuers only used a wooden boat (Bangka) to rescue the residents living near the riverbanks since the town has only one rubber boat," Alanzado added.

Meantime, Mayor Alvaro Elizalde urged residents to keep vigilance of the weather situation and to be responsive on the different flood warning levels and evacuate earlier in a safer place.

The activity is part of the implementation in the establishment of the local flood early warning system (LFEWS) in two municipalities of San Miguel and Tago where Tago River is traversing. The system is soon to operate early next month after all apparatus will be connected to the operation center of the Provincial DRRM office, according to Alquiza. (NGBT/PIA-Surigao del Sur)



Feature: Education: A Scarce Commodity

By Ma. Fe M. Jadumas

BUTUAN CITY - When I first started my teaching profession, it felt heavenly to share all the knowledge and experiences that I had attained and that I get to have the opportunity to finally know the feeling of partaking. However, as I immersed myself even further, the bestowment of knowledge is not as easy as it looks. I started realizing how students share the same textbooks because many of our schools have not enough books for everyone to have their own copy. It is pretty surprising to realize that looking back, during my basic education, I felt the same way as they did. But what is more astonishing, is that realizing that from then till now, it never change.

Such realization has taken me aback. The shortage of books in every public school here in the Philippines is but one of the many manifestations that education is nonetheless a scarce commodity. Classrooms have been but the main concern for every public school teacher. The supply of computer unit and even laboratories had been undersupplied for quite a long time.

Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that the “authorities” still tried its very best to secure this problem. In a global perspective, United Nations even stressed out that “Education is a right” (Art. 26, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948) like the right to have proper food or roof to safely secure ourselves. Education is but a passport for sustainable development. As such, as of 2000, many of the world’s government made sure to adopt the No. 8 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) which promotes a long-term vision for better education. As the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Director General, Irina Bokova, put it into wise: “When you fund education, you are securing progress towards all the Millennium Development Goals”.

The Philippine Government, as it hit its booming economy, made sure the promotion of better education for all. We expand by excavating changes into our higher education by introducing K-12 curriculum and delving as well our Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET). They even include transforming agri-colleges into state universities and a quality control by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on programs that are not up to standard (Phils. Higher and vocational education: revamped for the 21st century, ICEF monitor 2013).

It is apparently noteworthy that the system of education in the Philippines is evolving. It would be a great opportunity for every child in the four corners of the classroom to secure themselves that their expectations on education would be met in the next years to come. (PIA-Caraga)