Repair of 7,000 typhoon-damaged schools in Bicol almost done
MANILA, Philippines--Repairs of 7,000-plus public school buildings in Bicol that were seriously damaged last year by typhoons "Milenyo" (international code name: Xangsane) and "Reming" (Durian) are nearing completion, according to the Department of Education (DepEd).
Those in Catanduanes and the cities of Tabaco, Naga, however, "showed a 100-percent completion rate," the DepEd said.
DepEd Secretary Jesli A. Lapus on Friday reported that "in other parts of Albay province, the repairs completion rate is at 94 percent."
Lapus also disclosed "in other areas in Camarines Sur, the accomplishment rate is close to 90 percent. On the other hand, repairs in Camarines Norte are 92 percent complete while Masbate posted a 98 percent completion rate. In Sorsogon, it is 87 percent."
"Of the 14 congressional districts in Bicol, only four reported less than 90 percent physical accomplishments although we are given the assurance that all ongoing works will be completed before yearend," he said.
Under the DepEd's Bicol Calamity Assistance and Rehabilitation Efforts or BCare, some P1.2 billion have been earmarked for the construction and repair of school buildings in Region 5.
"Some school buildings, designed to withstand both earthquakes and typhoons, can also be used as evacuation centers in times of calamities," according to Lapus.
According to BCare, 771 new school buildings classrooms were up for construction while 7,142 others were undergoing repairs.
Lapus earlier ordered the field assessment of damages in school buildings caused by typhoons "Mina" (Mitag) and "Lando" (Hagibis) which recently visited the country.
Reports reaching the DepEd said public schools in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) sustained at least P102 million in damages while those in Cagayan Valley totaled P101.4 million.
In Bicol, tyhoon Mina caused the evacuation of some 10,944 families who are now using public schools in the area as evacuation centers.
In Legazpi City, the DepEd has completed the construction of an all-concrete school building designed to withstand typhoons and earthquakes.
"The building,with a ceiling reinforced by 20-millimeter steel bars, has rest rooms, a kitchen and a water supply. The sturdy structure can accommodate two classes during regular days and at least 60 people when used as an evacuation center," according to Lapus.
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