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.
completion of school rehab in August
By Ramon Aboitiz Foundation
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
“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
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.
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.
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
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.
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,”