February 28, 2024

The Department of Education Baguio Schools Division welcomed the plan of the city government to repurpose the trees uprooted by Typhoon Egay and craft these into school desks and chairs. 

Soraya Faculo, officer-in-charge of the Baguio Schools Division, said the tables and chairs will be donated to them by the City Environment and Parks Management Office (Cepmo).

The Cepmo recorded at least 100 different kinds of trees, most of them pine trees, that were uprooted or damaged when Egay battered the city and the rest of northern Luzon on the last week of July. 

“The donation is a welcome development that is favorable to the schools to augment the lacking chairs and tables of students,” she said.

She said three schools – Sto. Tomas National High School, Rizal Elementary School and Pines Senior High School-Lucban – will be prioritized for the donated tables and chairs, due to the major damage they sustained during the typhoon. 

About 63,000 learners from kindergarten to grade 12 are expected to return to public schools in the city when classes open on Aug. 29.

Faculo said the city government first has to seek permission and obtain permits from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources before it can proceed with the plan for the felled trees.

The wood also needs to be dried first before it can be used as school furniture. 

Faculo said they are doing their best to be ready for the opening of classes on Aug. 29.

“The roofs were blown (off) and walls were damaged. We hope to finish the repair by the start of the classes although they are temporary repairs using the quick response funds of the local school board,” she said.  

She said different groups and organizations, aside from parents and individuals, have been helping fix the damage left by the typhoon to make them safe and ready for the students. 

In a press release, the city government said a total of 25 out of the 67 elementary and secondary public schools in Baguio City were assisted by personnel of the Baguio City Police Station and the Public Order and Safety Division for the “Bridaga Eskwela 2023”.

School building and equipment repairs, as well as cleanup activities, were held simultaneously from Aug. 14 to 18.

Volunteers cleaned the drainage and roof gutters, trimmed protruding tree branches, hauled chairs and tables, flattened land, tidied up classrooms, repainted roofs and repairs ceilings, among others. – PNA