Classes tomorrow in 6 Cebu cities

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Sunday, October 20, 2013


THE mayors of Naga, Danao, Bogo, Toledo, and Lapu-Lapu cities have declared that classes in public schools will resume tomorrow.

Classes will also resume in public schools in Cebu City except for five schools that have been declared unsafe for occupancy.

In Mandaue City, students may have to wait until November1 4 to return to school.

Benjamin Tiongson, administrative officer of the Department of Education (DepEd) Mandaue City Division, said Mayor Jonas Cortes agreed to set the resumption of classes on November 4, but no official pronouncement has been made yet.

In Cebu Province, only schools that submitted a certification from their municipal engineers that their classrooms are safe for occupancy can resume their classes tomorrow.

The schools had until 5 p.m. yesterday to submit the certification.

Exemption order

Classes in Cebu and Bohol have been suspended following the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck at 8:12 a.m. last Tuesday.

DepEd Provincial Superintendent Arden Monisit said municipal mayors will issue an executive order declaring the resumption of classes, depending on the assessment of the municipal engineers.

DepEd-Central Visayas Director Carmelita Dulangon said the mayors of Naga, Danao, Bogo, and Toledo Cities have declared that classes will resume tomorrow, as relayed to her by the cities’ division superintendents.

Jonji Gonzales, consultant of Mayor Paz Radaza, said all classes in Lapu-Lapu City will also resume tomorrow.

Officials from DepEd Mandaue City proposed that classes resume on Nov. 4 during a meeting of the City Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council last Friday.

“We want to give the City ample time to inspect and rehabilitate the school buildings,” Tiongson said.

Two structural engineers sent by the head office of DepEd arrived in Mandaue yesterday to assess the school buildings.

Tiongson said there are badly damaged classrooms in Labogon National High School, Subangdaku Technical and Vocational School, Tipolo National High School, Cabancalan National High School, Canduman National High School, Guizo Elementary School and Umapad Elementary School.

The rest of the schools sustained only minor damages.

Mayor Cortes earlier instructed the Office of the Building Official to prioritize the inspection of public schools.

Ongoing inspections

The City also sent notices to private establishments, including private schools, to submit a post-earthquake assessment report certifying that their buildings are structurally sound before resuming their operations.

In the province, Monisit said schools with badly damaged classrooms may still resume their classes tomorrow if they can provide alternative classrooms.

He said the DepEd has sent tents that schools with damaged classrooms can use for their classes.

Some 78 schools, Monisit said, reported badly damaged classrooms. Inspection of classrooms by DepEd engineers is ongoing.

Monisit said 273 classrooms were damaged by the earthquake.

To make up for the missed school days, Tiongson said classes in Mandaue next month will be extended for 30 minutes. Periodical tests will also be held on Saturdays.

There are 30,000 pupils going to 29 public elementary schools in Mandaue, and 17,000 students in 27 public high schools.

Tiongson said all teachers in Mandaue will undergo a staff development training from Oct. 21 to 24. About 90 percent of them will serve during the Oct. 28 barangay elections.

Biggest challenge

In Cebu City, classes will resume tomorrow except for five schools that have been declared unsafe for occupancy.

These are Labangon Elementary School, Camp Lapu-Lapu Elementary School, Barrio Luz Elementary School and High School and Tejero Elementary School.

The City Government inspected 122 schools, or the equivalent of 3,445 classrooms. It declared 531 classrooms unsafe for occupancy.

Mayor Michael Rama met with department heads yesterday to discuss how to mitigate the effects of last Tuesday’s earthquake.

He said their biggest challenge is the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC), which has been recommended for demolition by Vice President Jejomar Binay.

In a press conference yesterday, Rama announced that all out-patient concerns in the CCMC should be handled by barangay health centers.

Rama said this is not a drastic change since barangay health centers were conceptualized to decongest the city hospital.

In light of the ongoing tug-of-war over the use of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) 7 and Cebu City Fire Station buildings, Rama said he will allow a quarter of the entire facility to be used by the firemen.

However, he insisted that regional fire trucks should be stationed at the Cebu City Sports Complex, while Cebu City vehicles park in Barangay Parian.

The BFP 7 and the Cebu City station were ordered to stay put in the buildings they occupy by Carlito Romero, BFP national headquarters officer-in-charge.

CCMC has been using BFP’s gymnasium and chapel to house CCMC patients.

The parking lot was used for out-patient check-ups.

Deadline

The City Government owns the lot where the BFP 7 buildings stand.

Rama has appointed Dr. Shawn Espina, CCMC consultant, as incident commander of the overall health care situation in the city.

Espina will have to monitor CCMC management and ensure that the barangay health centers have enough doctors.

The lack of doctors is the main reason a lot of the barangay health centers are only open a few days a week.

The mayor said everything should be repaired and all the debris cleared by December.

Cebu City Schools Division Superintendent Rhea Mar Angtud told Rama they’ve recommended building secondary stairwells or exit staircases at the Don Vicente Rama Memorial Elementary School and High School, Hipodromo High School, Mabolo High School, Lahug Elementary School, Guadalupe Elementary School, Ramon Duterte National High School, Zapatera Elementary School and Bulacao Elementary School and High School.

Rama hopes the Special Education Fund is enough to cover the repair all these schools, but said the National Government should also help with the funding.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 20, 2013.

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