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RAFI school rehab in Cebu
BUILDING BETTER. With the support of partners, RAFI has repaired and redesigned this two-classroom school building in Tapilon National High School, Daanbantayan, Cebu. The Foundation will complete in August the construction and repair of 184 classrooms in 46 schools and 20 day care centers in the northern Cebu towns of Bantayan, Daanbantayan, Madridejos, and Sta. Fe.

RAFI targets completion of school rehab in August

By Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.
July 29, 2014

CEBU CITY – Cognizant of the need for an estimated 9,000 students to already have their classrooms back, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) has assured that all 184 classrooms that are part of its rehabilitation efforts in northern Cebu would be ready for use by end of next month.

RAFI Education Development Unit Executive Director Anthony Dignadice said construction is ongoing at a rapid and efficient pace to ensure quality classrooms are built at the soonest possible time.

At 45 students per classroom, RAFI’s Post-Yolanda School Rehabilitation Project would benefit at least 9,000 students in 46 schools in Daanbantayan, Madridejos, Sta. Fe, and Bantayan towns in northern Cebu.

“By the end of August, we are assured that 9,000 students are already able to have a much better classroom they can use already,” Dignadice said.

He said the new classrooms are now designed to be more disaster-resilient compared to the old ones.

“We already showed the design to them and they were really clapping their hands… They were happy,” he added.

Build back better

RAFI’s school building design includes stronger column beams, elevated flooring, a lavatory and water closet, roof insulation and natural ventilation, two solid panel doors and jalousie windows per classroom, concaved blackboards, and two ceiling fans per classroom.

Having partnered with the Department of Education (DepED)-7, RAFI strove to repair existing classrooms and build new ones in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda.

With its target of building 184 classrooms and 20 day care centers in Daanbantayan town and the towns of Bantayan, Santa Fe, and Madridejos in Bantayan Island, RAFI collaborated with Metaphil in the construction and repair of school buildings, which is estimated to cost P247.5 million.

Of the 184 classrooms being built, 86 are in Daanbantayan, 48 in Bantayan, 42 in Madridejos, and eight in Sta. Fe. As to the day care centers, eight are in Daanbantayan, four in Bantayan, three in Madridejos, and five in Sta. Fe.

In particular, of the 86 classrooms in Daanbantayan, 73 are new constructions; 31 in Bantayan; 26 in Madridejos; and four in Sta. Fe.

Also, the construction and repair of classrooms in Sta. Fe are being funded in partnership with the League of Municipalities of the Philippines-Cebu Chapter, which set aside P4.4 million for the project. As counterpart fund, RAFI shelled out P3.16 million, while the local government unit allocated P962,600. The International Labor Organization also gave Sta. Fe P378,500 for the project.

Project update

Metaphil’s Engr. Seymour Cabellero, in a project completion update, reported that as of June 30, repair of schools in Daanbantayan was already completed while construction of new classrooms was at 88.88 percent. For the schools in Madridejos, Sta. Fe, and Bantayan towns, repair was at 97.6 percent while construction of new classrooms was at 80.09 percent.

For the day care centers, repair in Daanbantayan was at 88.64 percent while construction of new ones was at 83.04 percent. For the Bantayan island towns, repair was 93.51 percent while construction of new day care centers was at 83.04 percent.

Dignadice said the most challenging to construct and/or repair were the classrooms in Botigues and Hilotongan islets in Bantayan Island, as the contractor needed the materials to be transported by motorized banca from the mainland.

“We also have to work with the tide. But based on our target completion date, we are still ahead of schedule by around 10 percent. We can safely say we can finish everything by August,” Dignadice said.

Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III earlier asked DepED to hasten the restoration of schools for the students to have their regular classes inside classrooms already.

He said the Capitol was willing to assist DepED just so the new classrooms would be ready as soon as possible.

Makeshift classrooms

Since RAFI first evaluated the damage brought by Yolanda, it found out that many structures, including those that were just damaged but whose foundations did not conform to Metaphil standards, had to go, resulting to students not having classrooms when classes started last June.

To address this, RAFI and Metaphil constructed more than 100 temporary classrooms made of iron pipes and tarpaulins.

The temporary classrooms could be adjusted to provide better ventilation from the sweltering heat during sunny days and protection from the rain during a downpour.

Dignadice said RAFI chose to repair classrooms because “the love of learning also has something to do with the learning environment.”

“We already have the School Rehabilitation Program (SRP) even before (Super Typhoon) Yolanda (came). So from the perspective of the SRP, we saw the need to improve the learning environment, especially the physical facilities of the northern Cebu schools,” he said.

He was especially happy that even at a short period starting from the time it embarked on the project, RAFI has delivered on its promise to build not just a school building but 184 classrooms.

“In less than six months (after Yolanda struck), we have a clear response already as to how many schools we are targeting and the type of support we are giving,” Dignadice said.