DPWH Catanduanes urges new construction instead of repairing damaged school buildings

IF THE DPWH HAS ITS WAY, scores of one-storey school buildings that were heavily damaged by typhoon Rolly should be replaced with new, multi-storey ones with concrete roof decks instead of being repaired. DPWH Catanduanes


Instead of spending so much to repair heavily-damaged school buildings that would just sustain damage in subsequent typhoons, it would be better to construct new concrete buildings, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Catanduanes Engineering District believes.

In a report to the DPWH Technical Working Group for the Implementation of Basic Educational Facilities Fund (BEFF), District Engineer Gil Augustus Balmadrid recommended that totally and severely damaged single-storey school buildings with GI roofing and wood or steel truss frames be replaced with new multi-storey ones with concrete roof decks to maximize space.

The new buildings should also be provided with typhoon guards for front jalousie windows and doors while a revised rear window design should be incorporated, the report added.

The damaged buildings were either built in 2015 or previous years, it said.

For multi-storey buildings build under BEFF 2016 allocation, many of which sustained severe damage to GI roofing, steel roof framing, ceiling and rear steel windows, the DPWH proposed that the roofing be redesigned or reconstructed to withstand super typhoons with winds of 330 kph.

For single-storey classroom buildings and workshops built using concrete rib slab, the only recommendations were the provision of typhoon guards for windows, waterproofing membranes for the roof, and steel casement doors with GI plate.

On the other hand, multi-storey buildings with RC slab roof deck built in 2018 only suffered minor damage to doors and windows.

The DPWH district recommended that the typhoon guards made of ¾-incch thick marine plywood must be replaced after two to three years as its strength capacity will decrease over time,

It likewise urged that existing buildings located in landslide-prone areas should not be occupied until slope protection measures are constructed to safeguard lives and property.

Previously, the DPWH requested the Department of Education (DepEd) Schools Division of Catanduanes to replace existing glass panes on steel casement windows with GI sheets but no reply was received.

For BEFF 2020 and future projects, it recommended two options for the rear steel casement windows: a transom made of glass blocks or to replace the glass with GI sheet or heavy-duty ¼-inch thick polycarbonate sheet which will not shatter during super typhoons.

Based on its damage report dated Nov. 8, 2020, DepEd Catanduanes said that a total of 409 classrooms were totally damaged, with 1,114 classrooms sustaining major damage while 702 others had minor damage.

The totally-damaged classrooms are enumerated by municipality as follows: Bagamanoc, 1; Baras, 46; Bato, 60; Caramoran, 14; Gigmoto, 6; Pandan, 18; Panganiban, 14; San Andres, 66; San Miguel, 47; Viga, 27; and, Virac, 110.

On the other hand, the classrooms with major damage are in: Bagamanoc, 29; Baras, 75; Bato, 138; Caramoran, 47; Gigmoto, 30; Pandan, 59; Panganiban, 10; San Andres, 176; San Miguel, 90; Viga, 74; and, Virac, 386.

With an estimated budget of P3 million per classroom replacement, P850,000 for the repair of major damage and P50,000 for minor damage, the division said that a total of P2.2 billion is needed for the schools to be made operational again.

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