LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, Aug. 4 — Education Assistant Secretary Tomasino Umali called on Pangasinenses to support the program “Brigada Marawi’ of the Department of Education (DepEd), which seeks to rehabilitate and restore all damaged school buildings in Marawi City as a result of the fighting between government forces and Maute terrorists that is still going on in that city.
Umali explained during a special edition of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkasters sa Pilipinas (KBP) forum at the President’s Hotel here Thursday that the program is similar to the ‘Brigada Eskwela’ being done yearly by DepEd throughout the country to prepare all public schools for pupils and students going back to school.
The program was conceived by Education Secretary Leonor Briones who named UnderSecretary Aileen Pascua as focal person in charge.
Umali said he was glad to know that Pangasinan I School Division headed by Superintendent Marilou Cardenas has responded to the program and is so far the biggest donor to the ‘Brigada Marawi’ as reported to him by Region 1 DepEd Director Alma Ruby Torio.
Torio said there are already 10,000 learning kits pooled by her office to be sent to Marawi under the program. These include bags containing notebooks, paper pads, ball pens, pencils, folders and others, all coming from various school divisions.
Umali said the collection of materials to be used in the ‘Brigada Marawi’ has already started but the actual reconstruction of damaged school buildings in Marawi City will start as soon as the military has given the go-signal that that southern city is already completely cleared of terrorists.
He said there are 69 public school buildings all over Marawi City intended to be rehabilitated, at least 10 of which were totally and partially destroyed during the fighting that has exceeded two months already.
Records showed there were 27, 673 learners from kindergarten to senior high school who were displaced and relocated to various public schools away from the fighting, at least 37 of whom were enrolled and are now studying in Region 1.
At the same time, Umali said there were 1,400 public school teachers who were also affected with 1,300 of them already located and have resumed their work.
The ‘Brigada Marawi’, like the ‘Brigada Eskwela’, is supported by government and private initiatives, including parents of pupils and students.