Leyte solon decries classroom shortage after ‘Yolanda’
MANILA, Philippines—A lawmaker from Leyte belied claims by the Aquino administration that the shortage of classrooms have been resolved.
In a press briefing on Tuesday, Leyte Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said there remains a shortage of classrooms in Leyte due to the damage from super typhoon “Yolanda,” (international name: Haiyan) which hit Central Philippines November last year.
“We don’t have any classroom buildings worth bragging about because there are just far too many of the school buildings, and I’m not just talking about elementary but even for the state universities and colleges, that are still unrepaired,” said Romualdez, who represents the independent minority bloc.
“I can imagine that so much attention and focus has been at Tacloban ang Leyte, and yet that’s the very deplorable state. Can you imagine in the other provinces that are not receiving as much attention?” he added.
According to the Department of Education (DepEd), at least 975 schools in Leyte province needed 751 new classrooms and 7,745 classroom repairs.
In a statement, the minority bloc said in Leyte “thousands of our elementary and high school students are holding classes in tents and makeshift classrooms.”
“So what no more classroom shortage are the President and (Education) Secretary (Armin) Luistro talking about?” the bloc added.
DepEd said it has built 66,813 new classrooms to plug the 66,800 backlog of rooms in 2010.
The bloc said it would ask Luistro to give a detailed summary of the classroom construction in “Yolanda”-hit areas.
“Yolanda,” which hit Central Philippines last November, has claimed over 6,000 lives.
According to DepEd, at least 2,990 schools in five “Yolanda”-devastated regions need 2,313 new classrooms and 17,757 classroom repairs.
The construction of 1,916 classrooms was assigned to the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., while that of 397 rooms was assigned to external partners, DepEd said.
At least 28 classrooms have been completed and 61 were undergoing construction, DepEd added