LEGAZPI CITY: The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will build the country’s first typhoon and earthquake proof public school buildings to mitigate the effects of natural calamities and extreme weather disturbances. The first of these will be constructed in the Bicol region.
“For the first time we will be building typhoon and earthquake proof, resilient public school buildings in the country and it will be piloted in Bicol because it is a disaster prone region,” Secretary Mark Villar told The Manila Times in an interview here.
The DPWH allocates P1.2 million for a single public school classroom but with the new master plan under the disaster mitigation chart, the budget will be doubled, Villar said.
Starting this year the department will be constructing typhoon and earthquake proof public school buildings in Bicol that are resilient enough to withstand a typhoon with 300kph (kilometer per hour) strength.
Villar said the current public infrastructure, specifically public school buildings, can only withstand a 255-kph typhoon resulting in bigger damages here and putting the lives of evacuees in great danger.
“The goal is not only to use the public school infrastructure for evacuation but also to build a lasting structure that is conducive for learning,” he said.
Villar flew to Bicol on Friday where he visited the provinces of Albay and Camarines Sur to check the status of rehabilitation efforts on buildings and infrastructure destroyed by Typhoon “Nina”.
Earlier, the Department of Education in Bicol released an initial report that revealed at least P1.1 billion damages to public school buildings based on the post assessment by the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council here.
However, Roy Bañas, DepEd-Bicol information officer said that in Albay alone 186 classrooms were totally damaged; this would need about P223.2 million to rebuild. The total damage on infrastructure amounted to P1.1 billion and P35 million for non-infra assets.