Some engineers at the DPWH Catanduanes Engineering District are expressing doubt as to the resiliency of the two school buildings which will be constructed at Palta Elementary School courtesy of GMA Kapuso Foundation, Inc. with the help of the Philippine Army, DepEd Catanduanes, the provincial government of Catanduanes and the municipal government of Virac.
According to the foundation, the school buildings with standard 7-meter by 9-meter classrooms consist of light-gauge steel wall framing system, light-gauge steel roofing and ceiling framing system, and long-span roofing sheets, among others.
Once completed, the foundation said, the two school buildings will be able to withstand 300 kilometers per hour wind speeds and a Magnitude 8.0 earthquake. It will be the first of its type to be built in this storm-tossed province.
Based on this alone, had the two school buildings been already existing prior to Nov. 1, 2020, they would have been already destroyed by the 315-kph winds of super typhoon Rolly.
According to the DPWH, prior to 2015, the design wind speed for Catanduanes was already set at 300 kph before it was revised upwards to 320 kph under the National Structural Code of the Philippines (NSCP).
A new amendment, it is claimed, provides a 350-kph basic wind speed for proposed buildings in Catanduanes, the only province in the entire archipelago to have such a high design wind speed.
Whether the designers of the GMA Kapuso Foundation school buildings took this into consideration has yet to be determined.
But DPWH engineers, who are basing their conclusion on experience with the series ferocious typhoons that have struck the island within the last 50 years beginning with Sening, are not too sure that the GMAKF design would be able to withstand similar Rollys in the near future.
It may be recalled that during his term, Virac Mayor Samuel Laynes insisted on a design change for the regional evacuation center from GI roofing to slab roofing.
The DPWH also pushed for RC slab roofings for DepEd’s multi-storey school buildings and has designed a new multi-purpose building with slab roofing in view of the widespread damage to existing MPBs with GI roofing sheets and steel roof framing.
A key official of the Catanduanes State University has said that officer-in-charge Dr. Freddie Bernal was correct in sending a profuse “thank you” letter to Senator Juan Edgardo Angara for restoring about P101 million to the university budget for 2022.
He stated that it was Angara who was largely responsible for recovering part of the nearly P200 million that was slashed from the CatSU budget for said year.
As of this date, Congressman Hector Sanchez has yet to react on the CatSU claim.
Regarding the killing of former Asgad barangay chairman Leah Vallespin, the Catanduanes police has reported in a late post that several witnesses saw the victim lying on her side and still on board her motorcycle, its lights still on, just beside the highway about 6 P.M. and immediately informed the Bislig barangay captain of what they thought was an accident.
Responding MDRRMO personnel later found empty shells and discovered bullet wounds on the victim’s body. SOCO investigators recovered seven such shells and two slugs of an unknown caliber, contrary to the initial unverified report referring to a Cal. 45 bullet.
The 45-year old victim was brought to the JMA Memorial District Hospital where she was declared dead on arrival.
It is the first riding-in-tandem shooting to occur in the island since Sept. 30, 2020 when businessman Jesus Albaniel was gunned down in Virac. His case remains unsolved.
A FAIR QUESTION. A man walked into the bedroom of his house to find his wife in bed with another man.
“Who is this man?” demanded the husband.
“That’s a fair question,” said the wife, turning to her lover. “What is your name?”