Mayon’s continuing unrest displaces over 200 elementary students in Guinobatan, Albay. Forced to conduct their face-to-face classes in makeshift tents, the evacuee learners are starting to get sick due to extreme heat that can be experienced in the area.
The 255 evacuee learners from kindergarten to grade 6 are currently attending their classes in set-up tents in Mauraro Evacuation Center after their school was temporarily shut down.
According to teachers, it has only been two days since they evacuated but students are already falling ill due to severe heat index.
“Kahapon nagconduct kami ng CRLA di namin natapos kasi marami daw may sakit. ‘Yong situation namin nasa tent po kami. Ang init talaga. Kahapon nga iyong isa naming kasamahan nag ano ng tshirt kasi sobra sobra po ang init,” Elenita Ocfemia, a Grade 1 teacher said.
Despite the situation, teachers are compelled to push through with face-to-face classes because of the ongoing Comprehensive Rapid Literacy Assessment which will measure the students’ reading capacities.
However, the students expressed their desire to be able to go back to their school and homes.
“Doon po sa tunay na eskwelahan kasi po may blackboard, may sariling upuan,” Zia Gwenneth Convicto, a Grade 1 pupil, said.
“Mainit po kasi yung nararamdaman namin, sana po makauwi na kami sa tunay na eskwelahan,” another Grade 1 pupil, Airah Ocbian, added.
The Department of Education (DepEd) Albay assured the public that they are doing what they can to deal with the situation, as well as with the scheduled recognition and graduation rites.
“Dalawa ang affected natin, ‘yong affected mismo sa lugar at meron tayong resident learners, ‘yong mga pinuntahang evacuation centers. So may kanya kanyang strategy ang bawat school heads,” says Froilan Tena, Division Information Officer of DepEd-Albay.
Maninila Elementary School is located inside the 8 km extended danger zone. If Mayon explodes, residents will most likely be stuck inside the barangay which necessitates the evacuation.
“Isa kami sa mga nasa pinakadelikadong lugar. Dahil dati ‘yong lava flow, masyadong binababa ‘yong lava flow, masyadong mainit ‘yan kaya kailangan talang ilikas kami,” according to Punong Barangay Artemio Oxales of Maninila.
Meanwhile, a five thousand peso cash assistance will be distributed to each affected family of the Mayon’s activity. This will cover the personal necessities of the evacuees.
“May mga anak na nag-aaral kailangan ng pamasahe, mga gamot, ‘yong mga pambili ng gatas, sabi ni Speaker Romualdez, magkano pwedeng ibigay nahiya naman ako sabi ko lang two thousand pesos, nagulat ako na tinawagan ako ang sabi ang ibibigay limang libo,” Cong. Fernando Cabredo said.
Furthermore, in case Mayon volcano’s unrest persists, the local government is prepared with a second wave of cash assistance for the affected families. I Lou Marie Cuarto