DepEd: Funds to repair quake-damaged schools may be insufficient
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) on Wednesday feared its funds may be insufficient to repair schools damaged by the series of earthquakes that hit Mindanao.
“Sa tingin ko baka kukulangin dahil there are more than I suppose, planned for. Tapos pilahan pa ‘yan dahil sunod-sunod ‘yung mga disasters natin ngayon, lalo na ‘yung series of earthquakes. Baka mauubusan sila ng pondo,” DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said in an interview with dzMM.
(I think we may lack funds because there were more disasters than I suppose planned for. Then it will have to wait because disasters came one after another, especially the series of earthquakes. They might lack funds.)
Briones said DepEd has been identifying where it could source help and also stressed the importance of cooperating with local government units (LGUs) that are witnesses to the schools’ damage.
“Ngayon pa lang, ina-identify na namin kung saan kami pwedeng makakuha ng tulong. Malaki ang papel ng local government kasi on the ground sila, kumbaga kitang-kita nila kung ano ang nangyayari doon sa mga eskwelahan. That’s why we are cooperating with them,” Briones said.
(We are already identifying where we could ask help. Local government has a huge role because it’s them who’re on the ground, they see what’s happening to the schools. That’s why we are cooperating with them.)
DepEd Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla said the agency has already requested the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for supplemental Quick Response Fund (QRF).
“DepEd has a program fund called Quick Response Fund (QRF) to cover repair and replacement of classrooms caused by calamities or disasters. But the fund for 2019 has already been allocated to schools that were damaged during the previous year and 1Q & 2Q 2019 disasters,” Sevilla said in a Viber message.
“Deped already requested DBM for supplemental QRF and we are working on this. There is also DRMMS [Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service] operational fund within DepEd 2019 budget and this is what we use for clean-up, temporary learning space, and other minor repairs,” she added.
In its latest situation report, DepEd said 200 schools have been damaged by the earthquake that hit North Cotabato on Tuesday morning.
Tuesday’s earthquake, which struck Tulunan, Cotabato, came about two weeks after it jolted the same town.
The National Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Council said that to date, five persons were killed while 394 were injured and two others were missing because of the quake.
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Inquirer calls for support for the victims of earthquakes in Mindanao
Responding to appeals for help, the Inquirer is extending its relief to the families affected by the recent earthquakes in Mindanao.
Cash donations may be deposited in the Inquirer Foundation Corp. Banco De Oro (BDO) Current Account No: 007960018860.
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