DepEd to hold Brigada Eskwela in Marawi on Dec 13 to 15
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) is set to hold its school repairs volunteer program Brigada Eskwela in war-stricken Marawi City on December 13 to 15.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones made the announcement on the sidelines of the 2017 Philippine Education Summit on Tuesday, December 5 at the Manila Hotel.
She said pledges for the repair of Marawi schools continue to come in, though she was unable to give the exact number of pledges so far during the press conference.
“There are those who are pledging to donate buildings likes major companies. We are suggesting gently that they should comply with our design requirements. The buildings need be earthquake-proof,” said Briones in Filipino.
Brigada Eskwela is held annually before the official start of the school year. Students, teachers, education stakeholders, and volunteers come together to help repair and paint broken school furniture and facilities. Every nook and cranny is also cleaned by the volunteers.
The months-long clash between government troops and homegrown terrorists in Marawi City led to 29 totally damaged schools, while another 47 is in need of major repairs. Briones had estimated P2 billion is needed to completely rebuild the 29 damaged schools.
For now, DepEd is building temporary learning spaces so students in Marawi City can go back to school.
DepEd is currently negotiating with Congress to give the agency funds to build the destroyed Marawi schools because the construction of new classrooms and replacing old buildings is a mandate of the Department of Public Works and Highways. DepEd, meanwhile, is in charge of repairs, buying furniture, and providing electricity to schools.
At present, DepEd has P109.31billion to spend for its Basic Education Facilities Fund. For 2018, DepEd's proposed budget for school buildings is down to P106.08 billion.
On May 23, government troops clashed with members of the Maute Group and a faction of the Abu Sayyaf Group in Marawi City, sparking a 5-month battle that destroyed the city. (WATCH: Marawi in 360: The cost of war)
President Rodrigo Duterte declared Marawi liberated from terrorists on October 17, but not before war caused around P50 billion in damage. – Rappler.com