Senator Win Gatchalian is urging the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Department of Health (DOH), and the Department of Education (DepEd) to ensure the safety and welfare of children affected by the recent eruption of Mount Bulusan in Sorsogon.
While it has calmed down, Gatchalian said that we always have to ensure safe and child-friendly spaces for children who need to be evacuated whenever there are calamities. The senator sought the adequate provision of basic necessities and services such as food, water, medicines, sanitary, and hygiene kits. He also emphasized the need to provide psychosocial intervention for affected children.
“Ang mga bata ang pinaka apektado tuwing nakakaranas tayo ng mga kalamidad at mga sakuna. Matapos ang pagsabog ng Mount Bulusan, ang ating prayoridad ngayon ay matugunan ang mga agarang pangangailangan, matiyak ang kanilang kaligtasan, at matulungan silang makabalik nang ligtas sa kanilang mga tahanan kung hindi na muling sasabog ang bulkan,” said Gatchalian.
More than 200 individuals fled following Sunday’s steam-driven eruption, the majority of which were children under the age of 18. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) also reported that classes in three schools in the town of Juban were suspended. These are Puting Sapa Elementary School, Sangkayon Elementary School, and Añog Elementary School.
The DepEd in Sorsogon earlier advised school officials to prepare classrooms in Casiguran, Irosin, and Juban as possible evacuation centers. Gatchalian maintained, however, that this recent eruption presses the need for at least one evacuation center in every city and municipality to avoid the use of schools as evacuation sites.
During the recently concluded 18th Congress, Gatchalian filed Senate Bill No. 747, which seeks the establishment of structurally sound evacuation centers in every city and municipality.
“Patuloy nating isusulong ang pagkakaroon ng matatag na evacuation center sa bawat lungsod at munisipalidad sa bansa. Hindi na natin maaaring ipagpaliban ito lalo na’t madalas nararanasan ng ating bansa ang mga sakuna at kalamidad,” Gatchalian said.