THE Department of Education (DepEd) will conduct an inquiry into Gulod National High School-Mamatid Extension’s unannounced fire drill that sent several students to the hospital due to the hot weather, DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa said on Friday, March 24, 2023.

“Our primary concern right now would be the condition of the learners affected. But at the same time, we are already making inquiries on the matter so that we can improve the conduct of the drills moving forward,” Poa said.

Cabuyao City Mayor Dennis Hain said 104 students from the school were rushed to the hospital due to various reasons, including difficulty in breathing, dizziness, seizures and fainting, after taking part in a surprise fire drill.

He said around 3,000 students waited for several hours inside a classroom and were later instructed to gather in an open field under the heat of the sun, which ranged from 36 to 45 degrees Celsius.

In a separate statement from the School District Office (SDO) of Cabuyao City, it said that it was the second time the school had conducted the activity in accordance with DepEd Order 53 s. 2022, which mandates mandatory unannounced earthquake and fire drills in schools.

SDO said a total of 2,121 learners from Grades 8,9,11 and 12 participated in the activity, which happened around 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 22 and lasted for about 30 minutes.

It said a total of 83 learners were brought to the hospital and were immediately given medical treatment.

The SDO said that only two learners are still at Cabuyao City Hospital. One was referred to be confined at Global Medical Center in Banlic, City of Cabuyao, while another, who is suffering from hyperthyroidism, was admitted to Calamba Doctors.

“DepEd Regional Office (RO) IV-A and SDO Cabuyao City are collaborating with the school head and teachers of the concerned school to contact the 79 learners who were already discharged from the hospital to monitor their health situation. SDO Cabuyao City medical personnel were instructed to closely monitor the learners who are still confined in the above-mentioned hospitals through daily onsite visits,” it said.

“The DRRM team is also set to conduct psychological first aid sessions in the school. DepEd, through the RO and SDO, is currently coordinating with the Local Government of Cabuyao City in the provision of financial assistance to victims by shouldering their medical expenses,” it added. (SunStar Philippines)