The Department of Education (DepEd), in partnership with Save the Children Philippines and Prudence Foundation, launched the Rapid Assessment of Damages Report (RADaR) mobile and web applications nationwide last September 22 and 24 to ensure immediate response interventions and learning continuity in the event of disasters and other emergencies.
Even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, DepEd had been working on enhancing the safety for all learners and DepEd personnel through the development of the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Information System (DRRMIS).
“The RADaR mobile and web applications will support our regional, division, and school-based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Coordinators in reporting and rapidly assessing the impacts of disasters,” said Undersecretary for Administration Alain del B. Pascua.
Usec. Pascua also noted that the reports from the RADaR app will provide estimates of the damages caused by disasters and will serve as the basis for response interventions to these schools.
Save the Children Philippines Chief Executive Officer Atty. Alberto Muyot emphasized that the mobile and web application will be vital in ensuring the safety of learners and personnel once the safe resumption of face-to-face classes will be allowed.
“Children will bear the greatest impact if a disaster takes place in a school environment, and we must guarantee their safety during emergencies while they are away from their parents and guardians,” said Atty. Muyot.
According to the Department’s partner organizations, the accurate and timely data provided by the RADaR app will be vital in ensuring a strategic flow of information for response and life-saving decisions and actions by schools, communities, local governments, and concerned national organizations.
“Working hand in hand with the Philippine government, we are improving national systems for risk assessment, guidance, planning and reporting to support schools to build safe facilities, put appropriate emergency procedures in place, and to recover quickly when disasters take place,” said Marc Fancy, Executive Director of Prudence Foundation, the community investment arm of PruLife UK’s parent company Prudential.
Due to its vulnerability to typhoons, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and droughts, the Philippines ranks ninth among the most disaster-prone countries worldwide according to the 2019 World Risk Index.
The RADaR app is one part of the DRRMIS, being established within the DepEd through the Education Safe from Disasters Project, which aims to improve the knowledge and capacity of education personnel and learners on safety from disasters. It will include other applications and tools, such as the Comprehensive School Safety (CSS) Monitoring Application and the School Watching App (SWApp), that will be pilot tested in selected schools across 20 divisions of Region III the upcoming school year. The expansion of the project may transform disaster risk reduction systems in the Philippines and beyond, helping many more children stay safe in emergencies.