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Saturday, October 12, 2013
IN THE midst of devastation, a child will always express the desire to be able to go back to school. This, too, was what happened during Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras during the formal turnover of seven classrooms, principal’s office and school library to the Cateel Central Elementary School in Cateel, Davao Oriental last October 1.
The school structures were donated by Tulong Kapatid made up of the One Meralco Foundation, Alagang Kapatid Foundion and PLDT Smart Foundation.
“Why would a kid in the middle of destitute devastation want to go back to school?” Almendras said in his message. “It is because a school is symbolic of the start of rebuilding. Normalization starts when we open the school.”
Schools have also played the key role in providing temporary shelters to victims of disasters.
“It’s so nice when you rebuild a school because the school takes on a symbolic and functional role,” he added.
Cateel was among the most devastated towns after typhoon Pablo on December 4, 2013. The devastation was so vast, until now, the town is still trying to rebuild from the rubbles. Also suffering the brunt of the typhoon in Davao Oriental were the towns of Baganga and Boston.
Davao Oriental Gov. Corazon N. Malanyaon expressed her gratitude for the continued help that both government and private agencies have been extending to the province.
“The devastation by typhoon Pablo affecting the three municipalities came at a time when we were in the midst of development programs,” the governor said. Thus, the typhoon stunned them all.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 13, 2013.