SEVEN schools in the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue are prone to flooding, with water reaching some classrooms during a heavy downpour.

Officials of the two cities said these schools are located in low-lying areas, which is the main reason flooding takes place whenever it rains.

In Mandaue, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (CDRRM) Officer Felix Suico said elementary schools in Guizo, Looc and Basak got flooded in past, especially during the rainy season.

The CDRRM office had identified the three barangays as among the nine barangays in the city that are flood-prone.

Suico said the Looc Elementary School is near the sea so water, especially during high tide and heavy rains, gets inside the classrooms.

Suico recalled that there was a time they had to rescue children from inside the classrooms.

He said they had met focal persons of the Department of Education in Mandaue last month to discuss what could be done before, during and after flooding.

“Always monitor the weather advisory. If the water starts to rise, let us not wait for the situation to worsen. Evacuate the students immediately,” Suico said in Cebuano.

The City Government has dump trucks that can be used to rescue the children and residents that are trapped in a flooded area.

Suico said the City also provided barangays with fiber-glass boats, which can be used during these situations.

To prevent flooding, Suico pointed out the need to clean the drainage system and to remove waste that clog canals.

In Lapu-Lapu, the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) identified elementary and secondary schools in Gun-ob and Pajo as prone to flooding.

Adelino Padilla Sr., agricultural technologist of Cenro, said these schools are located in low-lying areas, where there is no outlet for the rainwater to flow to the drainage.

He said the installation of a drainage system will be part of the Department of Public Works and Highways’ project in the city.

The City has provided footpaths to schools in Pajo and Gun-ob to prevent students’ shoes from getting wet during a flood, said Padilla.

The City Government, in partnership with a private company, the Philippine Navy and Philippine Air Force, will conduct a drainage clean-up on June 30.

Cenro has been deploying personnel to different barangays and schools to check for problems these areas may encounter during heavy rains so these can be properly addressed.

“We’ve been campaigning for schools to practice proper garbage segregation. We’re trying to get the kids and the adults to adopt the practice,” Padilla said in Cebuano.

Meanwhile, Lapu-Lapu Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Marcelita Dignos said they suspend classes whenever there’s a flood to keep the children safe.