A heavy downpour last May 17, 2016 transformed the weather condition in Batangas City from rising mercury to lower air humidity. The transformation did not last longer than expected but signaled the beginning of wet season in the meteorological pattern of the Philippines.

El Niño is about to end as counterpart La Niña is striding its way to the Philippines.  La Niña is more than wet season.  Considering an average of twenty one typhoons entering the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), rainfall amount in La Niña will be higher than usual.  Typhoons are classified as weak or strong based on their features. Weak typhoons bring lower rainfall amount contrary to strong typhoons which bring heavy rains, strong and gusty winds; winds that can separate GI sheets from its framework, uproot trees, break twigs and branches, and displace things everywhere. Schools will open for learners in June when tropical storm is starting to build up.  To avoid the risk of falling twigs and branches from enormous trees in a number of schools in Batangas City, Dr. Donato G. Bueno, OIC-SDS of DepEd Batangas City requested the Batangas City government for trees trimming in forty eight (48) public elementary and secondary schools.

Mrs. Raquel B. Ranchez, Project Development Officer II, in charge of Disaster Risk Management (DRRM) coordinated with the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) for the said activity.  Mr. Rodrigo D. Dela Roca, CDRRM Officer, led the program management and operation. The program a.k.a. “Tree Trimming Services Program” delivers services to schools and barangays.  This is one of the many activities that the local government performs to reduce disasters and risks caused by the natural calamities.

City Disaster Risk Reduction Management is mindful of the tree parts they cut. The loggers cut insignificant twigs and branches which are threatening to the safety of school stakeholders. These are twigs and branches that have grown big, sturdy and brittle that when lightning and gusty winds strike and hit those parts, the falling debris might cause physical injury. Henceforth, DepEd Batangas City works hand in hand with Batangas City DRRM in the conduct of tree trimming to safeguard the welfare of learners, teachers, parents and other stakeholders.  Balagtas Elementary School and Banaba Center Elementary School were the first two schools benefited by the said program. Pinamukan National High School,   Conde Labac National High School, Libjo National High School, Malibayo Elementary School and Batangas City East Elementary school joined the list of those that were served by the program. Trimming began on   May 2, 2016 and extended until the remaining thirty – two (32) elementary and nine (9) secondary schools are served. DepEd Batangas City – DRRM section and CDRRMO remain vigilant to threats and danger of natural calamities.

Sally L. Mendoza