DepEd wants 'year-round' insurance, 'quick response fund' for all students

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Photo: Department of Education

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 3) — The Department of Education (DepEd) is calling for the increased protection of all schoolchildren in the country.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones on Saturday called on civil society organizations, local government units and government institutions to be more vigilant in their efforts to protect children, saying they are the first victims in accidents and instances of abuse.

Briones made the appeal after visiting the wake of five children who died in a road accident in Zamboanguita, Negros Oriental.

Undersecretary for Finance Service and Education Programs Delivery Unit Annalyn Sevilla, and Undersecretary for Field Operations and the Bureau of Human Resource and Organizational Development Revsee Escobedo shared the department's plan.

Briones said all 27 million schoolchildren must be insured.

"Each time groups of children go out of the periphery of our campus, participate in competitions, and travel to other places, they have to be covered by insurance so that if there is a need for benefits and for assistance, these can be available," Briones said.

Briones and Sevilla also mentioned the need for a quick response fund, as the department's budget does not provide for financial assistance in such incidents.

The Education secretary also called on regulatory agencies to "keep a sharper eye" on all vehicles, particularly public utility vehicles like the van that carried the victims during the accident.

Five students from Basay National High School in Negros Oriental died in an accident Friday, after their vehicle collided with a truck in Barangay Mayabon, Zamboanguita.

Five other students and an adult were hurt in the incident.