‘Usman’ wrecks 815 classrooms

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Space constraint With an average of around 40 students in Grades five to 12 in public schools, every classroom is important. Unfortunately, over 800 classrooms were damaged by floods and landslides brought about by tropical depression “Usman.” CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The Department of Education (DepEd) yesterday reported that at least 405 classrooms sustained heavy damage as a result of the onslaught of tropical depression Usman.

DepEd spokesman and Undersecretary for finance Anne Sevilla, however, assured the public that the agency has enough funds available for the repair and rehabilitation of the damaged classrooms.

“We are waiting for the report from our DRRMS team on the cost of repair for damaged schools,” Sevilla said, adding that budget for the repair and rehabilitation of damaged classrooms comes from the agency’s quick response fund.

Of the 815 classrooms, 118 were totally damaged, 208 had major damage and 489 had minor damage. The total estimated damage cost is P290 million.

“Usman” hit Region 5 (Bicol) the hardest, with 685 damaged classrooms at an estimated cost of P236 million.

In Region 4-A (Calabarzon), some 21 classrooms were damaged by the strong winds and rains. The extent of damage cost was P15 million.

In Region 4-B (Mimaropa), 109 classrooms were damaged at an estimated amount of P38 million.

Meanwhile, at least 34 schools in Regions 5 and 6 were flooded. DepEd said at least two schools in these areas are still being used as evacuation centers.

The Education department said it will set up temporary classrooms for students to minimize class disruptions while repair and rehabilitation works are ongoing.

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