Inter-agency task force for Oplan Balik Eskwela
By Jam Madrid NAGA CITY --- In preparation for the opening of classes, the city government of Naga, through the Naga City Public Safety Office (PSO) convened the Inter-Agency Task Group for “Oplan Balik Eskwela 2018” during a meeting at the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) conference room at City Hall here Monday last week. Upon the instruction of City Mayor John G. Bongat, PSO Chief Renne Gumba gathered the various government agencies and department heads, including the 27 Punong Barangays of the city, to discuss preparations and address problems that may crop up during the opening of classes on June 4, 2018. “The context of the Inter-Agency Task Group is the setting-up of a physical Coordinating Center for all concerns, and this is usually done at the Blue Room, such that if there is concern involving water (MNWD), fire (BFP), power supply (CASURECO) or medical attention, it will be lodged at the Joint Coordinator Center which will operate 24 hours a day,” Gumba explained. Gumba further raised two important concerns that the task group needs to focus on, namely; preparations that need to be done for the opening of classes; and the expected roles and functions of each member-agency and how to coordinate the efforts to be undertaken. The Joint Operation Center has several clusters of concerns, such as security, traffic, medical and emergency response, and the education sector itself. DepEd Naga Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Mariano B. De Guzman in his remarks expressed his appreciation for the initiative of the city government to create the task group for Oplan Balik Eskwela 2018, which he said will ultimately benefit DepEd and the students. “Our concern is the security of the students, the availability of transportation, and the need to have pedestrian lanes with police presence as the safety of our students and clients is one of our concerns, as they are the ultimate beneficiary of this effort that we are doing,” De Guzman reiterated. Based on DepEd record, Naga City has an estimate of 72,000 students enrolled in basic education (Kindergarten, Elementary, Junior and Senior High School) in various public and private schools. Of the total number, 50,000 are in public schools while 22,000 are in private schools. Present during the meeting were the heads of various agencies and the city government who expressed their full support to Oplan Balik Eskwela. These are the City Engineering Office (CEO), Public Safety Office (PSO), Solid Waste Management Office (SWMO), City Health Office (CHO), Naga City School Board Office (NSBO), City Veterinary Office (CVO), City Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Office (CDRRMO), City Events, Protocol and Public Information Office (CEPPIO), among others. The other participating national government agencies are the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Metro Naga Water District (MNWD), Philippine Red Cross (PRC), CASURECO, and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-Camarines Sur. Members of the Inter-Agency Task Group assured DepEd Naga that they will give their 100 percent participation to ensure that the opening of the School Year 2018-2019 will be secure and peaceful.