DAMAGED. The Department of Public Works and Highways conduct an investigation into the damage brought by the recent Super Typhoon Karding on structures of a public school in Barangay Malimba, Gapan City, Nueva Ecija. The investigation was made following a call for an investigation from Senator Robin Padilla, who raised the issue of possible irregularity in the construction of the structures that were destroyed by winds brought by Karding in late September. (Photo courtesy of Malimba Elementary School) 

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Nueva Ecija welcomed an investigation into the damage brought by the recent Super Typhoon Karding on structures of a public school in Barangay Malimba, Gapan City, this province.

Engineer Elpidio Trinidad, chief of DPWH-Nueva Ecija 2nd District Engineering Office, said personnel of their regional office in Pampanga was sent to Malimba Elementary School in Barangay Malimba following a call for an investigation from Senator Robin Padilla.

Padilla raised the issue of possible irregularity in the construction of the structures that include two covered courts, two-story school buildings, among others, that were destroyed by winds brought by Karding late last month.

The senator said that residential houses around the Malimba Elementary School were probably built with the employ of architects and engineers but have survived the typhoon.

During a Senate hearing on DPWH’s proposed budget Thursday, Padilla showed pictures of the damage.

Napaka. hindi po ako nakatulog sa larawan na ito […] Ito po ay nangyari no’ng nakaraang bagyo sa Nueva Ecija, ito po ay isang paaralan doon, tignan niyo po nang mabuti, nagkagutay-gutay po ‘yong paaralan (Super. I was not able to sleep because of these pictures. This is what happened during the last typhoon in Nueva Ecija. This is one of the schools there. Look intently, the school was torn apart),” Padilla told the committee in the presence of DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan.

There is a possibility, he said, used in the construction of the structures were substandard.

Bonoan agreed that an investigation should be made.

Kailangan po kung ganito ang nangyari dito sa lugar na ito, kailangan lang po maimbestiga ito kung ano ba ang nangyari dito, kasi kataka-taka naman po talaga na nag-iisa naman po ‘yong nasira -- well if it is a school building o kaya gymnasium po ito, and patignan po natin (If this is what happened in that area, there is a need for an investigation on what really happened there. Because it is was strange since it was the only one destroyed. Well if it is a school building or gymnasium, I will ask to look into that matter)” he said.

Based on the initial investigation, Trinidad said, that the roofing of the building built in 2018 was destroyed while the two multi-purpose covered courts in its front have “totally collapsed.”

The building, he said, was constructed by the DPWH while the two covered courts were erected in 2010 and 2011 by the local government unit.

While initial assessment would show the incident was force majeure, he said that a deeper investigation is necessary to establish the real cause of damage,

Several other older buildings had their roofs damaged, too. (PNA)