NDRRMC spokesperson Mark Timbal (Screengrab from Laging Handa briefing)

MANILA – The government has constructed additional evacuation centers across the country to ensure continuity of learning in schools.

In a Laging Handa briefing Thursday, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) spokesperson Mark Timbal said this aims to do away with the practice of using schools as evacuation hubs.

"More than 100 evacuation centers po 'yan sa iba't ibang regions. 'Yan po ang tulong natin sa Department of Education (DepEd) at sa mga kabataan natin. (More than 100 evacuation centers have been constructed in various regions. This is our way of helping the Department of Education and our youth)," he added.

Timbal said the NDRRMC is consistent in issuing emergency alert warnings and holding disaster preparedness training activities for teachers and local government units.

He also reminded students to participate in the 3rd quarter National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill, slated to be held on September 8.

"Makiisa po (sana) ang ating mga eskwelahan at estudyante sa earthquake drill na ito (We hope that all schools and students would participate in this earthquake drill)," he said.

Timbal also reminded eligible learners to avail of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) jabs ahead of the opening of classes next week.

"Sa mga kabataan natin, balik klase na tayo, balik eskwela for the face-to-face classes natin. Huwag po natin kalimutang magpabakuna lalo na po kapag sinabi na sa atin eskwelahan na mayroon paparating na vaccination program or rollout, magpalista po tayo dun. Isama po natin ang mga magulang natin (To our youth, we are returning to school for our face-to-face classes. Don't forget to get vaccinated, especially if the school rolls out a vaccination program. If possible, bring your parents, too)," he added.

He also thanked the DepEd for taking all possible steps to secure the students who will be having face-to-face classes since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Last month, the NDRRMC took over the functions of the then National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 as part of efforts to streamline the government's pandemic response. (PNA)