The Department of Education (DepEd) Negros Occidental Division has instructed public school officials under its jurisdiction to conduct an immediate inspection of ceilings and roofs of their school buildings following recent accidents.
Schools Division Superintendent Portia Mallorca issued the directive in Memorandum No. 245, Series of 2019, following the recent incidents of collapsed ceilings in some DepEd schools, including the Domingo Lacson National High School (DLNHS) in Bacolod City.
She encouraged school heads to create a team that will conduct the immediate inspection and to submit a report to the division engineer for consolidation not later than July 5.
“(These incidents) are eye openers for school administrators in conducting pre-disaster risk assessments in their schools to identify hazard areas or potential hazards to prevent such incidents from happening,” Mallorca said.
DepEd Undersecretary for Administration Alain del Pascua, in a memorandum dated June 24, said the incidents have raised concerns as these happened successively last month.
He included photos of the collapsed ceilings at DLNHS and the Planas High School in Porac, Pampanga, noting that the obvious cause of both is the lack of metal hanger support.
“Both classrooms have the same or similar ceiling design,” Pascua noted.
He said that days after the Bacolod incident, the roof of the gymnasium of Sinubong National High School in Zamboanga City also collapsed and injured six students.
This raises serious concerns on the stability of similar structures and the safety of learners, he added.
Pascua directed the DepEd Education Facilities Division to review the ceiling design of classrooms, identify the schools having the same or similar design as those of DLNHS and Planas HS, and submit the list of schools to the different regions and schools for immediate inspection.* (Nanette Guadalquiver)