BATANGAS, February 10, 2020 — The Department of Education (DepEd) will provide resources needed for the repair of the damages in buildings and classrooms caused by the Taal Volcano eruption.
DepEd Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del Pascua assured the Department’s support after he 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 on January 31.
The DepEd Undersecretary visited schools located in the 14km 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.
Usec. 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 naming kay Secretary [Leonor Magtolis Briones] na matatagalan pa bago mag–opening ng klase,” Pascua noted.
At Boso-Boso Elementary School, he saw that the 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,” Pascua said.
“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.
Usec. Pascua instructed Education Facilities Division Chief Engineer Annabelle Pangan to prepare a report and budget estimates for repairs of the damaged schools.