MANILA - Recent typhoons that brought destruction across Luzon left PP12.19 billion in damage to school buildings and learning materials, the Department of Education (DepEd) said Friday.
Super Typhoon Rolly destroyed 1,650 classrooms worth P6.6 billion, while damage from Typhoon Ulysses was pegged at P3.8 billion, Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said in a Senate hearing.
"That does not include the non-infrastructure damage," he said.
"The flooding that happened brought considerable damage to school furniture, learning materials and computers," he said.
The Bicol region, where Super Typhoon Rolly first made landfall, was hardest hit with P9.77-billion in damage to school buildings and learning materials, followed by Central Luzon with P1.3 billion in educational infrastructure damage, data from the DepEd showed.
"There's an appeal not to cut the budget for school buildings next year," Malaluan said, noting that repairs have to be done even if students are barred from physically coming to school to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Senate Committee on Basic Education chair Sherwin Gatchalian said Congress would "continue to look for funds" to ensure that schools will be repaired before the expected resumption of physical classes next year.
"Next year, we have P4.7 billion for repairs of schools. I know it's not enough compared to the P12 billion estimated [damage], but we will continue to look for funds," he said.
Congress is expected to convene in a bicameral conference next week to iron out details of the P4.5-trillion 2021 national budget.
Under the law, the education sector needs to have the biggest chunk of the national budget annually.