DepEd Seeks Additional P16B Funding for Repair of Schools Damaged by Abra Earthquake and Typhoons

HEAVY DAMAGE The four-story, 20-classroom building used by secondary students at Candon National High School in Candon City was among structures heavily damaged in Ilocos Sur province when a magnitude 7 earthquake struck. hit northern Luzon on Wednesday morning. —LEONCIO BALBIN JR.

MANILA, Philippines – The Ministry of Education (DepEd) has requested an additional fund of 16 billion pesos to repair schools damaged by calamities, including those affected by the recent earthquake that rocked northern Luzon and typhoons Odette and Agaton who hit last year.

DepEd spokesman Michael Poa lamented that the department’s rapid response funds, which amount to around 2 billion pesos a year, are not enough to deal with all the damage caused by the calamities. natural resources, which in turn leads to backlogs of reparations.

“We have funds for rapid response pero hindi siya kasya because the rapid response funds that we usually only get at DepEd is P2 billion a year and that is definitely not enough,” he said. he said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel on Wednesday.

“Although some repairs have been done hindi siya natatapos because talagang kulang sa finance then nagpapatong patong siya,” Poa added.

(Although some repairs have been done, they are usually not completed due to lack of funds and then overlap with other needed repairs.)

Poa said the DepEd would need about 16 billion pesos to repair schools damaged by Typhoons Odette and Agaton and another 1.7 billion pesos to repair those damaged by the earthquake in Abra and other places. regions.

He said the ministry had already requested 16 billion pesos in additional funding for this year’s repairs.

“At this time, we have already requested from the President through the DBM (Ministry of Budget and Management) additional funding of 16 billion pesos to augment the current funds for rapid response in areas affected by Odette, Agaton and hopefully even the quake-affected areas,” the DepEd spokesperson said.

Poa said the 16 billion peso increase should only be used for this year.

Temporary learning spaces

DepEd plans to set up temporary learning spaces for earthquake-damaged schools and even those damaged by last year’s two typhoons.

Poa said one would cost between 180,000 and 200,000 pesos and be made from lightweight materials.

He said, however, that DepEd was still determining how many temporary learning spaces it would put in place, as the tally of schools damaged by the earthquake “continues to rise”.

Poa said the number of schools damaged by the quake had already reached 276, a far cry from the 35 initially recorded a day after the quake.

DepEd is also considering using tents for temporary learning spaces, saying they can be reused if needed.

“Usually we use these lightweight materials, but the problem is that once schools are repaired, sometimes in some localities these temporary learning spaces become permanent. They’re right there, it’s such an eyesore,” Poa said.

“So we are also considering [using tents]although we need to investigate this if tents are in fact viable for students because with tents, after you use them you can actually store them and reuse them when needed,” he added.


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