In the first such donation to the Catanduanes since supertyphoon Rolly, the GMA Kapuso Foundation, Inc. is donating six classrooms to Palta Elementary School in Virac in a partnership with other stakeholders.
Last week, officials of the foundation led by Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Luz Annalee Escudero-Catibog, signed a memorandum of agreement with representatives of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Southern Luzon Command, the provincial government of Catanduanes, the municipal government of Virac and the Department of Education and presided over the groundbreaking of the project.
Present during the Jan. 28, 2021 ceremony were AFP Solcom commander Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., Provincial Administrator Lemuel Surtida who represented Governor Joseph Cua, Mayor Sinforoso Sarmiento Jr., and Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Ma. Louisa dela Rosa.
Through its Kapuso School Development (KSD) project, GMA Kapuso Foundation provides long-term assistance to calamity-stricken areas by constructing and/or rehabilitating public school buildings.
In Palta Elementary School, it will design and construct one (1) unit four-classroom Kapuso Type school; building and rehabilitate one (1) unit two-classroom reinforced concrete school building
The foundation said the two school buildings, once completed, are designed to withstand 300 kilometers per hour wind speeds and a Magnitude 8.0 earthquake.
Built to the standard, 7-meter x 9-meter size of a classroom, the new school building will have load-bearing light-gauge steel wall framing system, light-gauge steel roofing and ceiling framing system, long-span Galvalume prepainted roofing sheets, fire-water-and-termite resistant ceiling boards with air vents, steel door and jambs and window jambs with PVC toilet door, aluminum jalousie windows with PVC slats and slat holders, individual toilets with water closet and lavatory fixtures, floor and wall tiles, concaved chalkboard with chalk holder and chalk dust catcher, and concrete ramps/steps and planters.
Aside from the design, the Foundation will provide funding and all materials, manpower through an external works contractor, and manage the implementation of the project through a project engineer who will be assigned on site.
The AFP SOLCOM will provide security requirements on site or during transit of the materials, transport the materials from the supply source to the site, provide logistics support such as fuel and oil for its Engineering Brigade personnel, assign one supervising engineer, provide available tools and equipment at its disposal, demolish the existing damaged buildings, and provide 14 skilled personnel who will be paid additional subsistence allowance of P85 per day by the Foundation.
The Army contingent is also expected to collaborate with GMAKF and the LGUs for the conduct of civic action programs and other activities such as medical and dental mission in the immediate area, and allow foundation engineers to stay free of charge at its headquarters during the construction period.
On the other hand, the province and municipality of Virac are mandated to provide technical assistance and temporary utilities for the project, as well as aggregates required and heavy equipment for site development, earthworks and hauling of materials.
Along with the LGUs, DepEd is obliged to mobilize the school community in rendering voluntary labor for the project, provide snacks for the volunteers, and provide a storage area at the school grounds as well as temporary accommodations for GMAKF personnel.
Sources said the original site of the project was supposed to be Sto. Domingo Elementary School, which was the hardest-hit DepEd facility in Virac with all of its school buildings unroofed or destroyed, with the supertyphoon leaving only the concrete stage untouched.
However, it is claimed the change in recipient school was due to the fact that DepEd had already allotted funds for the repair or reconstruction of the damaged buildings in Sto. Domingo ES.
ASDS dela Rosa also told the Tribune in an interview last Friday, Jan. 29, that the DepEd central office has allocated funds for the reconstruction effort in Catanduanes which will cost more than P2 billion.
She said that following visits by Undersecretary Allaine Pascua and other ranking officials, the department has worked to consider the actual damages wrought on the island’s schools, proposing new buildings with reinforced concrete slab roofing for those totally damaged and inclusion of concrete gutter for the repair of partially-damaged ones.
Dela Rosa added that GMA Kapuso Foundation is also donating the same six classrooms to Mabini Elementary School in Panganiban town.
Construction of the Palta ES classroom buildings will start this first week of February and the project is expected to be completed by the end of April 2021