Good that officials of the Department of Education seem to have been jolted by the recent terrible earthquake in Japan that they finally started checking the structures of public schools in the country. Let’s just hope that the list they have come up with is accurate and, most importantly, that those schools they identified as having structural defects have been actually and properly attended to.
DepEd: 778 schools have structural defects, 107 in Metro Manila
Written by Carmel Lapena, GMA News
Almost 800 public school buildings nationwide have been found to have structural defects following a government inspection, the Department of Education (DepEd) announced on Wednesday.
Of the 778 affected school buildings, 107 are in Metro Manila, according to Engr. Oliver R. Hernandez of DepEd’s Physical Facilities and Schools Engineering Division.
At a press briefing, Hernandez said the defects — mostly hairline cracks and exposed reinforcement — are mostly due to old age.
The results of the inspection, conducted from March to April last year, were announced as the country struggles to remain calm in the wake of the deadly earthquakes that hit Japan and New Zealand recently, killing thousands.
While Hernandez said that most defects were not alarming and do not endanger students, at least 10 schools in Metro Manila are closely being monitored by the DepEd. They are:
- Araullo High School (Manila); defective structure replaced
- M. Roxas High School (Manila); ongoing repair
- Manila High School (Manila); ongoing
- T. Paez High School (Manila); demolished structure, waiting for replacement
- T. Paez Elementary School (Manila); 1 building for retrofitting
- T. Alonzo High School (Manila); declared condemned, for retrofitting; LGU funded
- Kalayaan High School (Pasay); ongoing replacement
- A. Bonifacio Elementary (Mandaluyong); repaired already
- Renato Lopez Elementary School (Mandaluyong); for further evaluation and possible replacement
- Pag-asa Elementary School (Caloocan City); for further evaluation and possible replacement
Hernandez said Bagong Silangan School in Quezon City was found to have been built along the West Valley fault line, and will be relocated after classes end on Friday to Sitio Veterans in Quezon City.
To date, there are no reports of schools in Marikina along the fault line, Hernandez said.
The official also urged public school officials to report damaged buildings immediately.“Buhay ang nakataya, so kailangan kung may ganung findings, matingnan agad (Lives are at stake here so we must report such damages immediately),” he said.
Hernandez also said that the DepEd has constructed 50 hazard resilient buildings, mostly in Bicol, Aklan, CARAGA and Agusan del Norte.
He said these buildings are compliant to the National Building Code and can withstand earthquakes and typhoons. – KBK, GMA News