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PHOTOS: Students, teachers help in massive cleanup of classrooms in storm-hit Biliran

The damage, however, was too extensive in some areas.

Jan 5, 2018

DANIEL ABUNALES

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NAVAL, Biliran – Most schools in Biliran resumed classes Thursday, even as seven schools in the capital Naval opted to resume classes on Jan. 8 for safety reasons.

Heavy rains due to Tropical Storm Urduja on Dec. 16 forced eight towns in the province to suspend classes, as schools were flooded and the national highway was left impassable.

During her visit in Naval on Dec. 27, Education Sec. Leonor Briones urged schools to resume classes on Jan. 3.

“May eskwelahan o wala may silya o wala, may atop o wala, may ulan o dili kinahanglan magsugod gyud ta (Whether or not we have classrooms, chairs, roof on school buildings, whether it’s raining or not we should resume classes), Briones said.

The damage, however, was too extensive in some areas.

The Department of Education’s (DepEd) Biliran division estimated more than P39 million will be needed to repair and rebuild school buildings. It also recommended the relocation of seven schools sites, as the current locations are no longer safe.

Overall damage in infrastructure and agriculture in the province was estimated to have reached P900 million, with Urduja’s wrath leaving 42 dead.

As communities recover from the impact of Urduja, students and teachers at Sto. Nino Elementary School, Caraycaray Central School and Sabang Elementary School are helping rebuild their classrooms starting with a massive cleanup — one broken chair, one torn book at a time.

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