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Nation

DepEd: 35 schools damaged by quake  

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) will need an initial P228.5 million to reconstruct and rehabilitate public schools affected by the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that hit Northern Luzon on Wednesday.

Initial rapid assessment by DepEd’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Services (DRRMS) showed that 35 public schools in 15 school divisions in Luzon sustained infrastructure damage.

Eleven of the schools are in Central Luzon, nine in Cagayan Valley, eight in the Cordillera Administrative Region and seven in Ilocos.

DepEd spokesman Michael Poa said the department is still assessing the extent and cost of the damage.

“As of now, we have funds to cover school clean-up drives and temporary learning spaces,” he told The STAR.

“Once we have determined the actual amount needed to repair the damaged infrastructure, we will also consider the option of requesting additional funding from the Department of Budget and Management,” Poa added.

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte had earlier activated DRRM teams to monitor and respond to the situation, including providing psychological first aid to affected personnel and learners.

DepEd called for an emergency meeting with concerned regional and division DRRM coordinators to present updates and response actions undertaken by their office.

Data showed that there are 8,027 public schools in areas where the earthquake was felt.

DepEd said the suspension of activities, including in-person enrollment and remedial classes, will depend on local chief executives in their capacity as chairpersons of local DRRM councils.

DEPED

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