(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Thursday, 26 May 2022) Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) affecting the southern section of Mindanao. The entire Caraga region will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms caused by Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.1 meters).



Monday, February 21, 2022

CHED-13 taps HEIs, partners for typhoon response

BUTUAN CITY -- The Commission on Higher Education (CHED)-Caraga is gearing towards a needs-based, demand-driven approach to assist typhoon-affected constituents in the higher education sector in the region.

Colorado

CHED-Caraga regional director Dr. George Colorado on Monday, February 14, in an interview with PIA-Caraga, said that they will be working closely with higher education institutes (HEIs) and CHED scholars in the region to solicit their inputs and come up with a comprehensive strategy to address the specific needs of typhoon-battered schools and students, especially those in the provinces of Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands. 

"I think that it would be better that [solutions] would come from them because it will strengthen their determination to implement them later on," said Colorado. 

After the onslaught of the typhoon, Director Colorado and his personnel immediately visited affected areas, particularly in Siargao Islands and the Bucas Grande Islands in Surigao del Norte, to assess the schools. 

As of press time, CHED-Caraga has estimated a total of PhP344,555,704.07 in damages sustained by HEIs across the region and PhP91,288,000 in the municipality of Socorro and the rest of Siargao Islands, and recorded an estimate of PhP383,274,063.03 in rehabilitation needs. 

As part of their initial interventions, scholars and grantees continue to receive funds from their respective programs to help support their needs during the disaster. The regional director has instructed HEIs to utilize the funds downloaded to them for mobilizing faculty members to personally reach out to their students and personally assess their situation.

As for learning continuity, submission of school requirements has relaxed in all affected HEIs. 

"Our response to this is the same as when we experienced the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. We relaxed on the requirements, allowing the students to tackle the courses beyond the term, if necessary," said Colorado. 

"They may not be able to submit their requirements within the semester, it's alright to extend the semester. They can still enroll in their subjects and continue submitting the requirements for the previous semester," he added. 

Schools have also initiated their own interventions for both their students and faculties. Universities and colleges that offer social work/health programs rendered psychosocial support for their students. Others offered their facilities to help faculties in need of temporary shelter. 

CHED-Caraga convened those involved in the higher education sector to map out its interventions for schools affected by the disaster in a press conference on Friday, February 18. They are yet to make a statement on this. 

Colorado said they will look into their linkages and networks to expand their response and ensure that help will be given to all those affected in the sector, and expressed that they are open to collaborating with former scholars who wish to extend help.

“The network is there, our government system is existing, our connections abroad, our alumni students looking after their schools, they will respond,” said the CHED-Caraga chief. 

They are also eyeing approaches “outside the box'' and will look into areas where they may conduct advanced research to tackle various issues. 

As for students and their parents, Colorado commended the resilience they have shown despite their situation. While solutions are still in the works, he appealed for their patience. 

“This is not a one-time approach to the problem. We will take the root of the problem. We have realized that one big shot help is not sufficient for these students to graduate,” he said.

"It is going to be a long battle. They need themselves to sacrifice and be patient, and prepare themselves for a long haul," he added. 

"We are assuring them that we will do what we can.” (DMNR/PIA-Caraga)