DepEd estimates rehab, reconstruction of 300 schools in earthquake affected areas to go over P500 million

Published October 31, 2019, 10:28 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Merlina Hernando-Malipot

As reports continue to come in, the Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday said it might need more than P500 million for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of over 300 schools that were damaged following the 6.6 and 6.5 magnitude earthquake in Tulunan, North Cotabato.


Based on the latest update from DepEd, there are 4, 022, 713 “exposed” learners in 8,861 schools under 33 divisions in five regions. “Exposed” learners, schools, divisions and regions, DepEd stressed, are located in areas reported with intensities included in earthquake information issued by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

Since October 29 – when the earthquake struck parts of Mindanao – DepEd said that 3, 326, 822 learners are affected by the suspension of classes at all levels in 6,980 schools under 28 divisions in BARMM, Regions X, XI, and XII.

Data from DepEd showed there are 313 schools with damages. There are also 281 totally damaged classrooms; 302 classrooms with major damage and 1, 462 classrooms with minor damage. Based on this data, DepEd estimates it would need P421.5 million for reconstruction and P 151 million for rehabilitation and major repairs.

Meanwhile, based on the latest results of the non-infrastructure damages, DepEd said there are 29 schools which reported that damages in school furniture, learning materials and computer sets.

Current data also shows that there are 81 casualties: 78 injured learners, two injured personnel and one student killed.

As part of its disaster response protocol, DepEd continues to monitor the division and schools affected by the earthquake for infrastructure and non-infrastructure damages, casualties, and other effects and consolidates the Rapid Assessment of Damages Report (RADaR) sent by affected regions and divisions.

DepEd said that its field personnel has already assessed the damages in schools due to earthquake and conducted initial communication to the Education Cluster partners to “stand by for immediate provision to affected schools.”

Education Secretary Leonor Briones, in an earlier radio interview, expressed concern that there might not be enough funds to cover the repair and reconstruction of damaged schools after the earthquake.

DepEd Undersecretary for Finance Annalyn Sevilla also acknowledged that the 2019 “Quick Response Fund” (QRF) “has already been allocated to schools that were damaged” in 2018 as well as for schools damaged by the disasters in the first and second quarters of this year.

The QRF is used to cover the funding needs for the repair and replacement of classrooms damaged by calamities or disasters. To augment this, Sevilla said that DepEd has already “requested” the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for supplemental QRF.