Aboitiz Group helps create resilient schools through Disaster Risk Reduction lectures for teachers
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As part of its goal to create resilient, empowered, and sustainable communities, Aboitiz Group has reached out to the teaching community, educating them on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).
Aboitiz Foundation, the company's corporate social responsibility arm, partnered with City Savings Bank, Pilmico, and Aboitiz Construction to conduct DRR 101 training for public school teachers under the Department of Education (DepEd).
DDR 101 is a two-day virtual training designed to strengthen the culture of preparedness and resiliency for teachers in different regions in the country. The lecture series began in June and will run until September. It's expected to benefit 1,200 teachers in Regions 1, 2, 3, 4-A, 4-B, 5, and 10.
The first batch of training sessions kicked off in Lipa, Biñan City, Calapan, and Oriental Mindoro, where over 90 educators and DDR coordinators participated.
"It will be through you [teachers] that we are able to teach the young of the value of being disaster prepared and resilient. And you do these even when you yourselves are also facing difficult moments. Kaya’t saludo po kami sa mga guro. Saludo po kami sa DepEd,” Aboitiz Foundation president and COO, Maribeth L. Marasigan said.
“Preparedness is a part of the effort to anticipate and manage disaster and mitigate risks and together, we hope to build disaster resilience within the DepEd community,” added Paula V. Reulan, City Savings Bank AVP for Reputation and Brand Management Head.
The teachers expressed their gratitude towards this initiative, seeing how it would help prepare their schools for any disruption. “Napaka-helpful po ng activity na ito, parang kailangan nga po lahat ng teachers malaman ang ganitong seminar dahil kagaya ng COVID 19, hindi natin alam na maaring mangyari ang ganitong mga sakuna, mahalaga na may service continuity planning," said Roxanne Nacino, a teacher from DepEd Calapan City.
Cultivating safety culture
For the DDR 101 lecture series, Aboitiz Foundation invited speakers from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOLCS), Department of Environment and Natural Resources - Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB), Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), and WeatherNews.
PHIVOLCS covered topics on volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and faults, DENR-MGB discussed geologic hazards such as landslides and floods, WeatherNews gave talks on weather and tropical cyclones, while PDRF gave a public service continuity orientation.
Meanwhile, Pilmico Foods CSR Supervisor Katrina Angelie Bayog-Mercado shared tips on food safety, while advice on school safety emergency were given by Aboitiz Construction Safety Manager Kishler Pascual.
“While we are cultivating the safety culture across all project sites of Aboitiz Construction, we also find it valuable to impart our knowledge about safety to our teachers who are taking care of school infrastructures," remarked Pascual. "Our participation in the DRR 101 training is in line with our commitment to helping in building a better future for many communities."
In light of the recent Tall volcano eruption, Aboitiz Construction also recently conducted a Disaster Preparedness Capacity Building for barangay officials in Brgy. Bagongpook in Lipa City together with the Lipa City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office. It also donated PPEs and two welding machines to help fortify a steel bridge in the area.
To date, Aboitiz Group has trained a total of 5,264 DepEd educators and DDR coordinators through Weather101 and DDR 1101. The initiative has benefited close to 5,300 teachers from 73 divisions and 16 regions.
Editor's Note: This article was provided by Aboitiz Group.