The australian government through the australian agency for international development (ausaid) partnered with the philippine business for social progress (pbsp) to construct classrooms for student survivors of tropical storm sendong in the cities of cagayan de oro and iligan.

With Australian support of Php63-million (A$1.5-million), PBSP has constructed six disaster-resilient, two-storey, six-classroom schoolbuildings for students who were affected and displaced by Tropical Storm Sendong in December 2011.

The AusAID-funded project is expected to benefit at least 13,397 school children and 315 public school teachers in the cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro. The project aims to assist the Department of Education (DepEd) return school operations to normalcy in Sendong- affected communities. Also included in the assistance package is the replacement of damaged education materials and provision of learning guides and starter kits for the teachers and assorted school supplies for the students.

Aside from being disaster-resilient, the school buildings include furniture, safe water and toilet facilities, including access for persons with disabilities.

Helen Diez, teacher and guidance in-charge of Northeast 1-A Central School in Iligan City, was elated to know that they were among those chosen to be recipients of the AusAID-funded project. “This will greatly help our students and others who have no more schools to return to because they were already destroyed by the flood,” she said. “We accommodated and provided shelter to more than 1,000 persons mostly children who were displaced by Sendong,” she recalled during the incident.

Included in the first batch were Northeast 1-A Central School and Iligan City East 1 Central School both in Iligan City and Bonbon Elementary School in Cagayan de Oro City. The second batch includes Lumbia Central School and Luinab Elementary School in Cagayan de Oro City with 2-storey 6-classroom school building, and Iligan City Central School with a 2-storey 4-classroom school building.

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