‘KARDING’ AFTERMATH. A huge tree branch crushes the roof of a classroom in Marawa Elementary School in Nueva Ecija on Monday (Sept. 26, 2022). The initial report said an estimated PHP112 million is needed for infrastructure repair, following the aftermath of Typhoon Karding. (Photo courtesy: DepEd-Philippines)

MANILA – The amount needed to repair schools damaged by Typhoon Karding has now hit PHP112 million, according to the Department of Education (DepEd).

Data from the DepEd-Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) showed that 21,509 schools were affected, particularly in the regions of Cordillera, Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, and Bicol regions.

In Nueva Ecija alone, fallen trees inside some school premises destroyed school roofs, while other schools were submerged in flood.

A similar case happened in Quezon where the roofs of some structures were also damaged due to strong winds.

So far, the Deped has recorded at least 20 schools in the affected regions sustaining infrastructure damage.

Millions of learners, including 12,174,549 learners in seven of the affected regions, have been also affected as some schools were used as evacuation centers.

“For the number of affected learners, kasama po dito 'yung mga may (included on this are those under) suspension of classes in their areas. Not necessarily po na damaged ‘yung schools nila (their schools),” the DepEd said.

During the onslaught of "Karding," 327 schools were used as evacuation centers -- 259 schools are still being used as such as of posting time.

The DepEd earlier released its Department Order 34, detailing protocols on class and work suspension, as well as guidelines during disasters.

DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa said schools may be immediately used as evacuation centers to help ensure the safety of evacuees.

Ayon sa (According to the) DO 37 sir, schools may be used as immediate evacuation sites, which should not last for more than 15 days. So pwede po gamitin (So it can be used) as immediate evacuation sites pero dapat po hanggang (but only until) 15 days lang maximum,” he said in a Viber thread.

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte, meanwhile, assured the public that the government is on top of the situation, as she vowed speedy actions for recovery. (PNA)