LEGAZPI CITY, ALBAY, November 12, 2020 – In line with Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones’ instruction, Undersecretaries Alain Del Pascua and Revsee Escobedo sat with division superintendents and school heads in a consultative meeting held in the adversely affected provinces of Bicol region. The meeting aims to come up with strategic solutions on minimizing damages to DepEd facilities during calamities, as well as mitigating risks to lessen the impact on our schools.

“Nandito kami dahil gusto naming mag-inspect ng mga facilities. Gusto naming malaman kung ano ba talaga ang strategic solution para sa mga pasilidad na iyan. Taun-taon na lang nasisira ang ating mga facilities, taun-taon na lang ‘pag dumadating ang bagyo, nasisira palagi ang ating mga school buildings,” Usec. Pascua said.

“Gusto namin talaga makakuha ng permanent solution para sa mga pasilidad natin na iyan. Kaya lahat ng mga ito ay ating lubos na pinag-aaralan,” he added.

Pascua noted that the DepEd will meet with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the redesigning of school buildings and ensuring that quality materials are used in construction.

Schools Division Superintendents and School heads also gave recommendations and suggestions regarding the materials that can be used for their schools including the adjustment on the design flow.

Noting the local school leaders’ suggestions, Usec. Pascua shared that an intensive study is now being conducted to gauge the quality and standards of materials that shall be used on the next repair.

DepEd engineers are scheduled to submit assessment reports on damaged schools by November 30 in order to push reconstruction early next year.

“This week umikot lahat ng mga engineers natin dito sa Bicol para nang sa gayon ay ma-check lahat ng mga damages. Ang ginagawa natin, lahat ng mga engineers ng Central Luzon, Manila at karatig-lugar ay pupunta lahat sa Bicol para matulungan mag-assess ng mga damages dahil binigyan natin sila ng deadline na dapat by November 30 tapos na yung Program of Works ng mga eskwelahan na na-damage. Nang sa gayon, mabigyan na agad ng pondo at pagdating ng January ay pwede na tayo mag-start ng reconstruction,” Pascua said.

Legazpi, Albay was the third stop of the Bicol visit of DepEd Central Office. The team of Usec. Pascua and Usec. Escobedo also visited Naga City and Camarines Sur on Tuesday, and Sorsogon on Wednesday.

The team, composed of representatives from the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service (DRRMS) and Education Facilities Division (EFD), is also set to visit more schools in Bicol this week.