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PIA Press Release
Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Bulacan taps high schools for calamity response, wins Gawad Kalasag

by Jose Mari M. Garcia

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan, Jan 3 (PIA) -- Tapping the education sector to bolster calamity response, the Bulacan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) was hailed 1st runner up in the National Gawad Kalasag 2011 recently at the Office of Civil Defense, City of San Fernando, Pampanga.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council recognized PDRRMC’s School Hydrological Information Network (SHINE) project as one of the best practices in school-based early warning systems.

According to PDRRMC, SHINE is a simple school-based program aimed at addressing issues on the effects of climate change, in particular focusing on awareness to hydrolometeorological-related disasters.

“The activity is one way of supporting the Department of Education’s thrust in its developmental program on the climate change-enhanced curriculum. This is consistent with the underlying principle that disaster awareness begins in schools,” the agency said.

Since 2004, the SHINE Project has instituted rainfall observation stations in 11 high schools in the province including Akle High School, Dona Remedios Trinidad High School, John J. Russell High School, Angat National High School, F. Halili High School, Vedasto R. Santiago High School, Norzagaray National High School, San Jose del Monte High School, Binagbag High School, Tibagan High School, and the San Rafael National Trade School.

Also integrated in the project were extra-curricular and non-academic activities such as campaigns on the ban of styrofoam and other plastic material in the school canteen, prohibition of smoke-belching vehicles in school premises, contests on recycling, garbage segregation, tree planting, and energy conservation program.

Heading the province which is perennially visited by floods, Governor Wilhelmino Alvarado said the SHINE project “strengthens the flood disaster awareness of schools and communities in Bulacan.”

Gawad Kalasag, which stands for KAlamidad at Sakuna LAbanan SAriling Galing ang Kaligtasan, is a search for excellence in disaster risk management and humanitarian assistance. It is given to individuals, private groups and government organizations in recognition of their initiative in helping the government to uplift the standard of disaster management in the country. (WLB/JMG-PIA 3)

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