DepEd to fund repair of Taal eruption-affected school buildings

February 10, 2020

THE Department of Education (DepEd) will provide resources for the repair of damaged buildings and classrooms caused by the Taal Volcano eruption.

Education Undersecretary for Administration Alain del Pascua conducted an ocular inspection together with the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Service (DRRMS), Education Facilities Division (EFD) and the Division Office Engineer of Batangas, of affected public schools in the towns of Laurel, Agoncillo, and Lemery.

The  schools visited by the officials are located in the 14-km danger zone, including Banyaga Elementary School, Banyaga National High School, Subic Elementary School, Agoncillo Central School, Agoncillo Senior High School in Agoncillo; Dayapan Elementary School in Lemery; and Boso-Boso Elementary School in Laurel to assess the extent of the damages due to heavy ashfall in these areas. 

Pascua observed that the roofs, ceilings, covered courts, pathways, and walls of the school buildings were severely damaged. He also surveyed the school grounds that were still covered with thick volcanic dust and needed major clearing operations.

“Gagawan namin ng report ang lahat ng observations. Sasabihin namin kay Secretary (Leonor Magtolis-Briones) na matatagalan pa bago mag-opening ng klase,” Pascua noted.

Pascua said the Boso-Boso Elementary School was severely damaged and may need a total replacement.

“Ang pagbalik ng mga estudyante dito ay hindi advisable. Kung babalik ang community, kailangan talaga i-replace ang school.

“Hindi lang ito simpleng pagbagsak ng abo, paglinis ng dumi, pagsasaayos ng kapaligiran, at iba pa.  Kelangan din tignan ang mga nasa kapaligiran man o daan, bukid, mga bahay – lahat ay kelangan din malinis at mapaayos, kundi babalik at magsisiksikan lang ang abo, dumi, at alikabok,” he added.

The official instructed Education Facilities Division Chief Engineer Annabelle Pangan to prepare a report and budget estimates for repairs of the damaged schools.