Danger to schoolchildren-A A +A
Monday, November 4, 2013
APAS National School is only one of the many Cebu City school buildings that has been declared by structural engineers as unsafe for use.
When the Department of Education (DepEd) reported in 2011 that about 13 of Cebu City's public schools have only one stairway and one emergency exit, in violation of the National Building and Fire Safety Code, former vice mayor Joy Young said that "the city does not sit on an earthquake zone and that the buildings are stable, being made of concrete, and can therefore withstand even fires. It is not practical nor a priority of the city to comply with the safety code."
Anyone can retrieve these statements in the Freeman Editorial and the Sun.Star commentary. I didnt know until then that laws like the building code were useless, such that someone could actually disregard them so blatantly and publicly. Is there a penalty for that?
Back then, even if it really bothered me, I relied on the assurance made by Joy Young that the city does not sit in an earthquake zone.
Mr. Young, it appears now that our city DOES sit in an earthquake zone. Now the provision of stairways and proper emergency exits, specified for specific types of buildings in the building code MIGHT NOW finally seem practical for you.
Because now my children have to go back to school, and all I can do is pray.
But I thought about other outlets like these, the press, newspapers, media. I know that they will help me get this message across to politicians, incumbent or not.
Mr. Young, the buildings that you or your construction company proudly help put up NOT ONLY VIOLATES A LAW but it actually endangers my three children's lives. The school buildings are useless.
Were you not the man who cut the ribbons and said that you were behind the success of the constructions of this new building? Are you going to do something about this?
I challenge the city officials to PRIORITIZE THIS. Elections are now over. If the administration of Mayor Michael Rama really meant change...then it will prioritize additional stairways, better exits, or even stronger schoolbuildings that can withstand earthquakes.
An editorial back then, asked: How could Young say additional stairways and emergency exits are impractical and not a priority? I echo these words of yours, Mr. Joy Young, so you can reflect on them, if they don't haunt you down in shame yet.
I wonder how you feel. I wonder how other politicians feel.
I also wonder if the incumbent Vice Mayor Edgar Labella, who now sits as chairman of the education committee, would take this challenge: Save our schoolchildren.
The residents of Apas are waiting. Parents all over Cebu are waiting.--AESM of Barangay Apas, Cebu City
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 05, 2013.