FOUR years after typhoon Yolanda hit northern Cebu, the Department of Education (DepEd) continues to fund for the repair and construction of new classrooms in affected public schools.
More than 50 out of 114 public schools in northern Cebu, which received the last batch of Yolanda funds, have completed repairs on its classrooms earlier this year.
At least 805 new classrooms are also set to be constructed in typhoon-affected areas in northern Cebu.
In an interview yesterday, Engr. Noemi Guillen, DepEd 7 physical facilities coordinator, told SunStar Cebu that the agency has allocated P122.6 million for the repair of Yolanda-hit public schools in northern Cebu.
The P122.6 million funded last year is part of the DepEd’s Basic Educational Facilities Fund (BEFF)
In the island towns, Bantayan received P14.3 million for the repair of classrooms in 12 schools, while Madridejos and Santa Fe received P7.2 million for classroom repairs in five schools.
Tuburan town got P14.3 million for the repair of classrooms in 17 public schools. Public schools in Daanbantayan and Medellin received P24.2 million, while San Remegio got P16.3 million for 12 public schools.
Tabuelan and Sogod received P10.3 million for the repair of classrooms in 15 schools.
Borbon and Tabogon received P10.6 million for classroom repairs in 13 schools.
Catmon and the island towns of San Francisco, Tudela and Poro in Camotes received P11.5 million that will cover the classroom repair of 13 schools.
While P11.2 million was allocated to Bogo City for eight schools.
Guillen confirmed that the DepEd already completed repairs in Bantayan, Madridejos, Santa Fe, San Remigio, Tabuelan, Sogod, Borbon and Tabogon as of this year.
But she has yet to determine if repair operations in 64 public schools in Bogo City, Tuburan, Daanbantayan, Medellin, Catmon, San Francisco, Tudela and Poro have been completed.
The DepEd is also facilitating the construction of 805 new classrooms in Cebu Province and Bogo City worth P1.4 billion.
The P1.4 billion is the third batch of construction allocation provided by DepEd for Yolanda-affected towns and cities in northern Cebu.
Guillen said that aside from Yolanda-affected classrooms, funds for new classroom construction will also address the lack of classrooms for senior high school in the northern part of Cebu.
Although, the funds are being provided by DepEd, it is the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) that oversee the construction of the new classrooms, Guillen said.
Guillen admitted that the DepEd still needs to conduct an inventory on the repaired and constructed classrooms before the end of the month to determine if what was promised has been delivered.
When Yolanda struck the northern part of Cebu in 2013, at least 603 classrooms needed to be replaced, while 2,133 have to be repaired.
Last year, 535 classrooms that were slightly damaged by the typhoon were already repaired, while 454 new ones were constructed to replace those that were destroyed.
Guillen admitted that some schools, particularly those situated in far-flung areas, took a long time for their classrooms to be repaired or constructed because of the reluctance of winning bidders to comply with their contracts.
Guillen, however, said they already penalized some contractors for failing to comply with their contracts by paying the liquidated damages provided by the agency.