Latest Mindanao quake destroys 31 schools: DepEd

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 17 2019 11:53 AM | Updated as of Dec 18 2019 07:38 PM

Damage figure to climb as aftershocks persist, says official 

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Thirty-one schools were among the structures destroyed by a powerful quake that affected 370,000 students and rocked Mindanao last weekend, the Department of Education said Tuesday, as it scrambled for funds to replace cracked facilities. 

The number of damaged schools, based on initial reports from Davao and Soccsksargen regions, is expected to increase as hundreds of aftershocks rock the area, said DepEd Spokesperson and Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla. 

Sunday's quake has generated some 700 aftershocks, the strongest of which is magnitude 5.2, the state seismology office Phivolcs said early Tuesday. 

Four other quakes with magnitudes above 6 have struck Mindanao since October. 

The DepEd earlier requested P3 billion from the Department of Budget and Management to repair schools damaged by the tremors. This is on top of another P7 billion to repair facilities destroyed by calamities since 2017, said Sevilla. 

DepEd only has about P2 billion in quick response fund yearly and has to ask the national disaster council for additional calamity funds along with other agencies, she said. 

"Ginagawan naman po ng paraan ng DBM but it's not really enough. Ang nangyayari, mas dumadami iyong dumadagdag sa listahan kaysa sa natatapos natin. It's a continuing list of backlog right now," she said. 

(The DBM looks for ways, but it's not really enough. What happens is that the list of infrastructure damage increases more than the projects we finish.) 

Classes in public schools will resume on Jan. 6 after the Christmas break, she noted. 

DZMM, Dec. 17, 2019