Teachers' party-list revives call to exempt schools from disaster evacuation

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 19 2020 01:31 PM

MANILA — Schools should not house calamity victims and the government should instead build more evacuation centers, a party-list representing teachers reiterated Sunday, as tens of thousands in provinces south of the capital fled from the eruption of Taal Volcano.
 
Evacuees took shelter in about 91 schools in the Calabarzon region, which could not be used for classes, said Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) party-list Rep. France Castro.

The government should instead build a common evacuation center for every 2 or 3 barangays, which would have enough comfort rooms and kitchens for evacuees, she told reporters.

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Activist groups under the Makabayan bloc had proposed laws for this guideline since 2013, when typhoon Yolanda, the strongest storm to ever hit land, destroyed over 200,000 houses in the central Philippines, noted Castro.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones earlier said families that fled from Taal had to be relocated immediately because classes had to resume immediately.

Some 96,000 people are in evacuation centers in Batangas, Laguna and Cavite provinces due to Taal, which belched a giant ash cloud that reached Metro Manila last Jan. 12, said the disaster agency.

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The second-highest alert in a 5-step system remains hoisted over the volcano, which means "hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days," state seismologists said.

With a report from Michael Joe Delizo, ABS-CBN News