P1.48B needed for damaged schools’ rehab

An estimated P1.48 billion will be needed for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of schools damaged by the magnitude 7 earthquake that hit Abra province and nearby areas last week, the Department of Education (DepEd) said Sunday night.

“The assessment conducted by the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service showed that the government would need P1.4 billion for the repair of 451 classrooms destroyed by the earthquake and the other 706 classrooms that sustained damage,” Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Z Duterte said in her speech during the kick-off of this year’s Brigada Eskwela in Imus, Cavite.

DepEd said at least 263 schools were damaged by the earthquake out of 9,903 affected schools based on the latest field report.

Based on the latest information from the agency’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service, of the 263 damaged schools 152 were from Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), 59 from Ilocos Region, 29 from Cagayan Valley Region, 21 from Central Luzon, and one each from Calabarzon and National Capital Region.

Of these schools, 451 classrooms were heavily damaged while 706 others were partially damaged.

At least 25 schools in Region 1 and CAR are currently in use as evacuation centers for 583 families displaced by the earthquake.

The Philippine National Police said it will assist the Department of Trade and Industry in implementing the price freeze of basic commodities in Abra pursuant to Republic Act 7581 also known as Philippine Price Act.

In a statement, PNP Officer-in-Charge Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. said it is imperative to keep the prevailing prices of basic necessities, as per the DTI order.

Paula Antolin and Aldwin Quitasol

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