DepEd fears funds insufficient to repair quake-cracked schools

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 30 2019 10:22 AM | Updated as of Oct 30 2019 10:28 AM

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The Department of Education said Wednesday it was scrambling for funds to repair hundreds of school buildings that were destroyed by a series of earthquakes in Mindanao.

The DepEd has requested funds from the National Disaster Coordinating Committee under the Office of the President and is studying whether the agency's own budget can be used to repair damaged schools, said Education Secretary Leonor Briones.

"Sa tingin ko, baka kukulangin [ang DepEd budget] dahil there are more disasters than I...planned for... Sunod-sunod ang disasters natin, lalo na iyong series of earthquakes," she told radio DZMM.

(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.)

Cor Jesus College in Digos City, Davao del Sur is damaged after the area was hit with a magnitude 6.3 earthquake on October 16, 2019. Photo courtesy of Anthony Syngcoc

Tuesday's magnitude 6.6 quake added damage to some 200 school buildings in Cotabato province, its epicenter, which were previously cracked by a powerful tremor some 2 weeks ago, said Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza.

"Halos 273 schoools o buildings ng DepEd ang nasira noong first quake noong Oct. 16, nadagdagan ngayon iyan," she said in a separate DZMM interview.

"Meron tayong mga eskuwelahan na gaya ng Nueva Vida in M'lang na after the first quake, 10 percent na lang ang puwede nilang magamit, ngayong second quake mukhang wala nang puwedeng magamit," she added.

(Almost 273 DepEd schools or buildings were damaged by the first quake on Oct. 16, these increased. We have schools like the Nueva Vida in M'lang town where 10 percent of the structures can still be used after the first quake, but probably none can no longer be used after the second quake.)

Classes were suspended Wednesday in Cotabato to give way to the assessment of damage, said the governor.

Tuesday's tremor also damaged school buildings in neighboring Davao region, said Briones.

DZMM, October 30, 2019