DepEd Davao City DRRM: Social network, a key tool to disaster risk reduction Print

At 12:15 a.m. on February 19, 2013, a few hours before Typhoon “Crising” is expected to make its landfall in the Philippine Area of Responsibility particularly in Southern Mindanao, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte made an announcement to suspend classes in the elementary and high school levels. In an ordinary circumstance, this may have probably created miscommunication among school officials, school heads, teachers and students, but not to the Department of Education Davao City Division as members of the DepEd Davao City Risk Reduction and Management were on alert in spreading the information  in  the most accurate and swift manner, largely through social network and “text brigade.”

Created on August 2011 and spearheaded by ASDS Maria Antonia P. Diaz, DRRM Technical Adviser and  Elsie E. Gagabe, Ed.D. , Education Program Supervisor, the DepEd Davao City DRRM Facebook Account has played a key role in the overwhelming support of the public schools to Typhoon Pablo victims. The DepEd Davao City DRRM has gathered and distributed truckloads of relief goods, such as canned goods, bottled water, medicines, clothes, etc.  to the  people of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental, places where Typhoon Pablo hit the hardest. About 90% of the public schools in Davao City, both elementary and secondary cancelled their Christmas Party and donated goods and cash to the victims of Typhoon Pablo. Private institutions like the University of Mindanao has also responded to this call as they also shared goods to the victims through DepED Davao City DRRM. DepEd DRRM has generated a total of Php1.8 M in cash and kind.
ASDS Antonia P. Diaz, DRRM Technical adviser said in an interview that with the advent of global warming and climate change and the havoc it is inflicting on our physical world, it must create awareness and is our duty to have thorough knowledge on what to do in times of emergency. She further said that the social network site is a great venue to disseminate information.
This social network account has also become the way for schools to post updates on their preparation for any disaster or calamity such as the holding of earthquake, fire and tsunami drills and the conduct of cluster and school based-seminars and trainings for teachers and students in disaster preparedness and mitigation program.  One of these disaster preparedness activities of the Division of Davao City included the training conducted by Mr. Prime Cruz, a DRRM volunteer, to public schools in Calinan District and the Cluster IV training for school heads, teachers and students held in A.L. Navarro National High School and headed by the host  school DRRM team.
    Members also posted photos on condition of their respective schools during and after disaster, especially on the peak of Typhoons Pablo and Crising.  It featured pictures of schools, which were greatly affected in areas such as  Calinan, Marilog, Maa, Matina, Bunawan and Paquibato.  Through the photos and updates posted by members emergency responses became speedy.
        To date, two hundred and seven (207) members, mostly consisting of DepEd Davao City officials, school heads and public elementary and secondary teachers, are actively participating in this open group of the social network site where they are free to exchange information, air concerns, give suggestions and recommendations that will best serve the people of Davao City in times of calamities.