Luzon earthquake update: Damaged schools hit 427, P2.1-B needed for repairs

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 04 2022 01:37 PM

Maguyep Integrated School in Sallapadan, Abra after a magntiude 7 earthquake rocked Luzon last July 7, 2022. Photo courtesy of the Department of Education
Maguyep Integrated School in Sallapadan, Abra after a magntiude 7 earthquake rocked Luzon last July 7, 2022. Photo courtesy of the Department of Education

MANILA — The number of schools damaged by the powerful earthquake that recently struck Luzon climbed to 427, the Department of Education (DepEd) said Thursday as it looked for funding for "quick interventions" ahead of the school opening later this month.

DepEd Spokesperson Michael Poa gave this update in a press conference, adding that the estimated cost for repairs and reconstruction rose to P2.1 billion.

Schools in earthquake-affected areas are still expected to proceed with the opening of classes in Aug. 22, the agency earlier said. 

Poa said the DepEd was looking at building "temporary learning spaces" or "tent-style" makeshift classrooms for the damaged schools. 

But schools can also implement distance learning modalities if DepEd could not immediately provide temporary learning spaces.

"If we can't deliver on time 'yong lahat ng [temporary learning spaces], we will consider also alternative delivery modes," he said, referring to the use of self-learning modules and online classes.

"There's no one size fits all solution kasi iba-iba 'yong case ng bawat lugar, bawat paaralan," he said.

(The situation is different for every area, every school.)

Poa said the DepEd was realigning funds for the construction of the learning spaces.

"Kung may projects na hindi naman priority or hindi matutuloy or kung may savings, ire-realign natin 'yan ngayon para sa quick intervention natin sa temporary learning spaces," he said.

(If there are projects which are not priorities or would not push through or if there are savings, we will realign these for our quick intervention.) 

Last week's magnitude 7 quake, which struck Abra province and rattled other parts of Luzon, killed at least 10 people and injured hundreds.

Meanwhile, some 15.2 million learners have enrolled for School Year 2022-2023 as of Thursday morning, according to the DepEd. The figure is more than half of the 28 million target enrollees for the coming school year.