Make sure new classrooms have emergency exits: Rama to DPWH

BUILD classrooms that are disaster-resilient, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama asked the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) yesterday.

Rama’s request came after he saw classrooms being constructed and funded by the DPWH in Budlaan that don’t have features such as emergency exits.

Although he acknowledged DPWH’s help in addressing the problem on classroom deficiency, Rama said the office should be aware that the City Government has been constructing emergency exits in existing public school building to provide additional access to students and teachers when emergencies such as fires and earthquakes happen.

The City has prioritized school buildings that have three floors in the construction of the safety feature that is funded under the Special Education Fund.

Rama said he will let the Local School Board become aware of the matter since they handle the construction of emergency exits in public schools.

Not a reason

u201cWhen will they ever learn? The City Government will (end up) always looking for money not for the school building but for the emergency exits,” he added.

In Barangay Budlaan, DPWH constructed a two-storey classroom only. However, Rama said it should not be the reason for DPWH not to include an emergency exit in the structure.

u201cStill, two floors is a height and when there will be earthquakes, all of these kids will be rushing in one area for the exit. It will create pandemonium,” he added.

Because of the matter, Rama said the Department of Education (DepEd) should also consider changing its officials in the City.

u201cThere is more reason for the changing of guards at DepEd at the local level,” he said.

Rama had the chance to inspect the newly constructed school building in Barangay Budlaan last Tuesday after he led the electrical rewiring turn over sponsored by the Visayan Electric Co. (VECO).

Rama said he will ask VECO to continue the project and include all the schools as their beneficiaries because it lessens the chances of fires caused by electrical misuse.

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