By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
The Department of Education (DepEd) continued to call for donations for the bereaved families of the learners as well as for the survivors of a fatal vehicular crash in Negros Oriental earlier this month.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones personally appealed for donations to the victims involved in a vehicular mishap on March 1, 2019, in Zamboanguita, Negros Oriental. Basay National High School, she noted, is located in one of the poorest towns in the province.
DepEd said the bereaved families, as well as the other patients, all belong to low-income households, thus, they need continued “support” for “medication, physical rehabilitation, surgery, and psycho-social intervention” – among many others.
Briones noted that a fund campaign has generated P1.5 million where “all proceeds went to the hospital bills of the survivors.” However, she noted that the projected cost of hospitalization and rehabilitation for the survivors “will likely reach the P10-million mark.” Given this, the agency continues to appeal for support and donations.
DepEd said that the students of Basay NHS were on their way home from a regional Mathematics contest in Cebu City when their public utility van collided with an oncoming truck. Five of 10 learners died instantly in the tragic incident, DepEd noted.
Late Thursday afternoon, DepEd also confirmed that one of the so-called “Basay11” has passed away. DepEd expressed its “sincerest condolences” to the bereaved family of Justine Generoso, a Grade 11 learner of Basay NHS, who passed away on March 20 at the Silliman University Medical Center Intensive Care Unit (SUMC-ICU) in Dumaguete City.
DepEd said that medical report showed that Generoso “suffered from blunt chest trauma, multiple rib fractures, acute tubular necrosis, and subcutaneous emphysema, and was under intensive care since his admission.”
The “Basay11” accident once again prompted DepEd to call for “greater vigilance towards protection of children.” To further protect children in schools, DepEd is eyeing for the provision of insurance for all schoolchildren.
Briones also called to regulatory agencies to “keep a sharper eye” and to conduct “more robust assessment and monitoring of vehicles. Agencies, she added, should have to “look into the state of mind of the drivers and the vehicles, as well as the legality of the franchises.”
DepEd is also pushing for a quick response fund – especially because the provision of financial assistance for these types of incidents is not included in the DepEd budget. DepEd intends to bring this up in the budget proposal for 2020.