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DepEd Seeks More Funds To Repair Disaster-Damaged Schools In Ilocos

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DepEd Seeks More Funds To Repair Disaster-Damaged Schools In Ilocos

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The Department of Education in the Ilocos Region (Region 1) is seeking more funds for the repair of schools damaged by previous calamities.

During the Regional Development Council (RDC) meeting held Wednesday at the Fort Ilocandia in this city, architect Felix Villanueva, Jr., head of the agency’s education facilities division, said at least 26 schools in Region 1 are considered for repair under the proposed Infrastructure for Safer and Resilient Schools (ISRS) project.

Villanueva said there is a need for more funds for the repair of these schools as the annual PHP2 billion quick response fund of DepEd is not enough to fix damaged school buildings grow in number every year.

“Of the 26 schools identified in Region 1, the major repairs amount to PHP252 million,” Villanueva said, citing that these include two schools each in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, one in La Union, and eight in Pangasinan.

In 2023, the DepEd reported that disaster-damaged schools in the Ilocos Region reached a cost of PHP17.2 billion.

“No matter how good the school curriculum and no matter how bright the teachers may be, if there is no positive learning environment, then, we can never maximize learning,” Villanueva noted.

Due to a lack of classrooms, there are some schools that conduct double and triple shifting to accommodate more learners, he lamented.

“Others even conduct their learning discussions under the mango trees,” he added.

In view of this, the DepEd has asked the RDC to endorse to the National Economic and Development Authority-Investment Coordination Committee the additional funding for evaluation and approval. (PNA)