Comelec: Two schools in Cebu City mountain barangays too damaged for polls

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | February 21,2022 - 05:05 PM
Comelec: Two schools in Cebu City mountain barangays too damaged for polls. In photo are voters looking for their respective precincts outside tarpaulin in front of the Guadalupe Elementary School. | CDN file photo

Voters look for their respective precincts outside on a tarpaulin in front of the Guadalupe Elementary School. | CDN Digital file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Two schools in Barangays Babag and Pungol-Sibugay in Cebu City sustained considerable damage from Typhoon Odette making them unusable for the May 9 elections.

Marilou Paredes, acting South District Commission on Election (Comelec) officer, said that they would have to build makeshift precincts at the damaged public schools in those barangays.

“Magbuhat tag makeshift tent in case dili maayo until election. Magset mig appointment sa city ug sa barangay kay basin makatabang sila,” said Paredes.

(We will just make makeshift tents in case these (the school) will not be repaired until the election. We will set an appointment with the city and the barangay to see if we can help them.)

The Comelec offices in Cebu City have been inspecting the public schools, which will be the sites for the voting precincts this May 9, to ensure that these are all serviceable for the elections.

The city government will be returning to the Department of Education (DepEd) the schools it used as isolation centers in preparation for the elections as well.

So far, aside from Babag and Pungol-Sibugay, Comelec will also open an additional voting center in Barangay Apas because a portion of the school was also damaged.

However, the new center will still be in the same compound and can accommodate more precincts and more voters.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said in his Monday press conference on February 21, 2022, that he would have the schools in Pung-ol Sibugay and Babag inspected by the local school board.

“Akong ipatanaw unsay extent sa pagkaguba. Naa man ang local school board, akong ipa check. With the possibility with the budget nga naa nato, nganong dili man nato tabangan?” said the mayor.

(I will have the school inspected and see the extent of the damage. We have the local school board, I will have it checked with the possibility of the budget that we have, why cannot we help?)

He will also be coordinating with DepEd since the schools are their jurisdiction.

Rama said he was also aware of the bureaucracy on the release of the budget from DepEd, which might take time as it would need congressional approval and so the city would be prepared to help out in the fixing of those schools.

The city government has actually allocated P50 million for the rehabilitation of destroyed structures from Typhoon Odette, but Rama said this might not be enough.

“We have to connect and call the local school board and even Disaster Office to be in charge sa pag-ayo (of the repairs),” said Rama.

For funding, the mayor plans to engage the private sector in an “Adopt a School” project for the rebuilding and rehabilitation of education facilities.

Rama said the city government would need to take matters on its own hand and not wait for DepEd to take action because the schools would be utilized for the elections.

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TAGS: Babag, Cebu‬, Cebu City, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, Comelec, Commission on Election, DepEd, Paredes, Pung-ol Sibugay

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