Hundreds of classrooms still undergo repair one year after Typhoon Odette

SOME 803 out of 5,000 public school classrooms across Central Visayas are still undergoing repairs more than a year after Typhoon Odette (Rai) struck the region on Dec. 16, 2021.

This according to Department of Education-Central Visayas (DepEd 7) Director Salustiano Jimenez during a year-end press conference at their office in Cebu City on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022.

Jimenez told reporters that out of the 884 classrooms in the region that needed repairs, only 81 have been completely repaired and are now being used.

The remaining 803 that are currently undergoing repair are being funded by the DepEd 7’s quick response fund .

Jimenez clarified that not all these classrooms were damaged by the typhoon, though a large number of them were hit by the typhoon.

Some of the unrepaired classrooms were supposed to be scheduled for repairs but after Odette struck Cebu, they were instead tagged as among those damaged by the typhoon, Jimenez explained.

He said that among the challenges they face in the repair of the classrooms is the lack of funds.

Jimenez said the regional office has spent at least billions of pesos on the repairs.

“Every time there will be downloaded funds from the national [government], I will right away download it to the 20 school division offices because it would be much better that they are the ones to procure to fast-track the implementation,” said Jimenez.


Last November, he said the national government gave them P1.2 billion for the repairs, but added that they would need at least P7 billion to repair and construct

additional classrooms.

He said temporary learning spaces (TLS) were constructed for schools that lacked classrooms to be used by the students in the meantime.

TLS are demarcated spaces constructed for teachers and students to conduct teaching and learning when they can’t do so in their school because of displacement, damage or destruction of the school.

Jimenez said there are around 144 TLS in the region.

The province of Bohol has the most TLS, with 50, followed by Cebu Province and Negros Oriental, with 27 each, Cebu City (18), Toledo City (9), and Talisay City (7).

The City of Naga has the least TLS, having only six.

Jimenez said a big portion of DepEd’s 2023 budget in Central Visayas will go to classroom repairs.