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PAGCOR gives P2-B for classrooms in Yolanda-hit areas

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) has earmarked P2 billion to shoulder half of the cost for the construction of 4,500 classrooms destroyed by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), the Department of Education (DepEd) said on Monday.

The DepEd said during the signing of a memorandum of agreement, the PAGCOR allocated P2 billion for the construction of new classrooms in places that were hardest hit by "Yolanda" in Eastern Visayas.

"If we are to look at it, our budget for more than 4,500 classrooms that need replacement is around P4 billion. So, this is already around half of the needed budget for the replacement of those other classrooms," Education Secretary Armin Luistro said.

"Our target is to fast track the construction of classroom buildings before the opening of classes in June, at least the one-story buildings that need to be replaced are already in place for the coming school year," he added.

Luistro said that the classroom buildings that will be built in 2014 should be able to withstand a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and typhoons stronger than "Yolanda" or with wind velocity of 250 kilometers per hour.

"We are putting up structures where our students will be able to be in an ideal learning environment. It’s not any ordinary building, it’s about ensuring that these spaces will allow young people to flourish, learn in whatever school situation they find themselves," Luistro said.

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