By Malu Cadelina Manar and Jel Santos
MAKILALA, Cotabato – Some schools here are not yet safe for learners due to the damage it incurred following the strong earthquakes and aftershocks that hit Mindanao recently.
Salome Sumalinog, assistant principal of the Makilala Central Elementary School (MCES), said some the 47 classrooms have cracks on their walls, beams, and columns.
Sumalinog said officials from the Department of Education (DepEd) in North Cotabato and the regional office in Soccsksargen advised them it is still not safe to hold classes inside these damaged classrooms.
With this development, DepEd officials are planning to construct at least 47 temporary learning spaces at MCES school ground. But it will take weeks or months to complete the construction, according to Sumalinog.
Apart from MCES, other schools that incurred damage includedMakilala National High School, Malasila National Vocational High School, Malasila Elementary School, Saguing Elementary School, among others.
The LGU-initiated Makilala Institute of Science and Technology (MIST) also incurred major damage, especially its main building. Cracks are seen on its walls, beams, columns, and posts.
These schools, according to Makilala LGU officials, are used as temporary shelters or evacuation centers of quake victims from various barangays.
Omar Obas, Cotabato schools division superintendent, said classes will resume on Monday although there are schools that remain not fit for occupancy. He identified the unsafe schools as Makilala National High School and the Buena Vida School in Barangay Buena Vida, here.
Once classes resume, the evacuees have to transfer to a place just a few meters away from the temporary learning spaces, Sumalinog said.
P24-M Makati donation
As this developed, Mayor Abigail “Abby” Binay announced Friday that the local government unit of Makati City will donate P24 million as financial assistance to earthquake-devastated LGUs in Mindanao.
The Makati Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC), chaired by the mayor, approved the P24-million financial aid during a meeting on Friday morning at the Makati City Hall.
Binay said she convened the City Council for an emergency meeting to expedite the release of financial aid to affected localities in the provinces Davao del Sur and North Cotabato.
“The City of Makati empathizes with the victims of the recent earthquakes, and we would like to help them get back on their feet as soon as possible. Aside from financial aid, we will also share whatever resources we can spare,” she said in a statement.
Moreover, Binay said the Makati LGU will provide school supplies to affected students in the two provinces.
Makati City, she said, may also deploy psycho-social support teams to conduct stress debriefing and assist the victims recover from their traumatic experience.
Present during the meeting were City Administrator lawyer Claro Certeza, City Legal Officer lawyer Michael Camiña, DILG-Makati Director lawyer Cherry Melodias, and Councilor Jojo Javier, among other DRRM Council members.
Based on the Philippine DRRM Act of 2010, the local DRRM Council may transfer funds to support other local government units which are declared under a state of calamity, upon the approval of the Sanggunian/ Council concerned.
Binay said she is expecting that the financial assistance will be included in the agenda of the City Council in its regular session next week.