An estimated of P1.6 billion to replace damaged classrooms in Mindanao: DepED

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Photo: ABS-CBN News

The Department of Education said it needed at least P1.6 billion to replace numerous damaged classrooms caused by a series of quakes in Mindanao last month.

DepEd Undersecretary and Spokesperson, Nepomuceno Malaluan said that the October 3 quakes demolished 500 classrooms and caused “major damage” to 700 more. It will take more than a year to fully restore the buildings, each worth P2.5 million to be earthquake and typhoon proof.

“Our priority in these areas is the continuation at the soonest of classes. Our field offices are taking action, the first of which is building temporary learning facilities in areas where these are needed,” he said.

On the other hand, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the DepEd requested funds from the National Disaster Coordinating Committee, and considering the agency’s own budget to repair the damaged structures.

“I think the DepEd budget will not be enough because there are more disasters than I suppose planned for. Disasters came one after another, especially the series of earthquakes,” he explained.

Furthermore, Local government units in Mindanao declared state of calamity to utilize emergency funds. Seismologist informed the public that aftershocks are expected until December.