9 elementary schools in Surigao Norte in high risk locations

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 23 Oct) – Nine public elementary schools in Surigao del Norte have been identified as being in “high risk” locations, prone to either floods or landslides, according to the provincial office of the Department of Education (DepEd).

Gregorio B. Cañeda, education program supervisor of DepEd-Surigao del Norte, told MindaNews Tuesday afternoon that the schools were identified based on the findings of multi-agency Provincial Assessment Relocation Team, which is composed of representatives from the DepEd, provincial and municipal governments, Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

Prone to flooding are Urbiztondo Elementary School in Claver, Calang-Custodio Elementary School in Tubod and Tagbuyawan Elementary School in Mainit, Cañeda said.

Those prone to landslide are the Lakandula Elementary School in Placer, San Francisco Elementary School and Tolingon Elementary School both in Mainit, Camp Edward Elementary School in Alegria town and Cagdianao Elementary School in Claver.

The Malimono Central Elementary School, on the other hand, sits on a fault line, provincial superintendent Evelyn R. Fetalvero said, quoting the MGB.

Cañeda said the Cagdianao Elementary School has been newly transferred to a safer area with the help a mining company, who financed he construction of the school building.

The DepEd said they still don’t know the status of the schools located in the Siargao Islands and Bucas Grande Island, which is under District 2.

Last October 7, during the regular session of Sangguniang Panlalawigan, board member Myrna M. Romarate, chair of the committee on education, has proposed a resolution endorsing the relocation of elementary schools in the province situated in hazard zones.

She said this was the request of Gov. Sol F. Matugas for endorsement and approval of Provincial Development Council Resolution No. 8, series of 2013.

Romarate told MindaNews that she does not have yet the final list of elementary schools in the entire province located in hazardous areas.

She said the resolution has been tackled on the first reading but she would come up with more details – including names of all schools in the two districts and the budget allocation for the relocation – in the second reading.

Romarate said this effort is to make sure that schools in Surigao del Norte are safe for pupils.