At least 770 public school buildings damaged; Munti 2nd most in MM

Published : Monday, August 08, 2011 00:00
Written by : Ryan Ponce Pacpaco

AT least 778 public school buildings are damaged, posing a serious threat to thousands of students and teachers, especially those who hold classes in condemned structures for lack of classrooms.

In the National Capital Region, 107 school buildings are damaged, according to Alliance of Concerned Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio.

Tinio claimed that of the 1,198 public buildings from 771 schools that were assessed, 778 were found to have varying degrees of structural damage. Many of these unsafe buildings are in quake-prone regions.

“About 107 of those are in the National Capital Region, where school buildings with structural damage or defects present the greatest risks for children and teachers, as school buildings there are often multi-storey and classrooms are more congested,” he said, citing the result of a nationwide inspection made by the Department of Public Works and Highways last year.

In Metro Manila, Pasig City had the most number of schools with structural damage at 28, followed by Muntinlupa with 23, 10 each in Pasay and Pateros, nine in Navotas, six each in Manila and Parañaque, five in Las Piñas, and three each in Marikina, Quezon City and Valenzuela.”

In the provinces, 779 school buildings in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Western Visayas, SOCKSARGEN and CARAGA were found to have defects, Tinio said quoting reports from the Department of Education Physical Facilities and Schools Engineering Division. Of the 779 buildings, 671 have structural integrity issues.

Tinio was alarmed by the admission of DepEd officials that some schools still hold classes in condemned buildings.

He said many schools also do not have fire alarms or extinguishers. Most have unmarked fire exits, hazardous electrical wiring, overloading of outlets, and no fire brigades and are not prepared  for fire emergencies.

Tinio filed House Resolution 1439 asking the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture to look into the structural soundness and safety of public elementary and high school buildings all over the country.

“The State is duty-bound to ensure the safety of children, teachers, and school personnel in public structures,” he said.

The solon wants a bigger budget for DepEd next year to allow the department to repair and rehabilitate school buildings to assure the safety of school children.

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