Nograles wants ‘Yolanda’ resettlement sites closer to schools

Nograles wants ‘Yolanda’ resettlement sites closer to schools

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles

MANILA – Resettlement sites should have schools close by so that students don’t have to walk too far to have access to basic education, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Sunday.

Nograles, who heads Task Force Yolanda, said he raised the matter before Education Secretary Leonor Briones, who was “willing to consider” his proposal.

“Kawawa kasi ang mga bata kung malayo ang mga komunidad na ito sa mga paaralan (It’s pitiful if students had to walk too far to get to school). So it’s good that the [Department of Education] has this Last Mile Schools Program, wherein they work to provide geographically isolated, disadvantaged, and conflict-affected (GIDCA) areas with access to basic education,” Nograles said in a statement.

Last Mile Schools are schools that have multi-grade classes, with less than five teachers, and a student population of less than 100 learners, more than 75 percent of which are usually indigenous people.

He said he also reached out to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Health (DOH) to put up day care and health centers in resettlement sites.

“We cannot just stop with building their houses; we have to make sure that these displaced families also have access to basic necessities: schools, day care centers, health centers. Naiintindihan naman nina [DWSD] Sec. Bautista at [DOH] Sec. Duque ito (Sec. Bautista and Sec. Duque understood this concern), and they said their agencies will be helping out in this regard,” he added.

Nograles said it is important to make sure that resettlement sites are not just built, they should also allow families to “thrive, not just survive.”

“We want to do more than rebuild their homes — we want to help the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda rebuild their lives,” he said.

He emphasized the importance of bringing education and livelihood closer to ensure that communities live and work successfully.

“We know that livelihood and education would be concerns that need to be factored in to ensure the long-term viability of these relocation sites,” he added. (PNA)

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