PALO, Leyte, Philippines – The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) has completed 21 school buildings it earlier committed to build in Leyte to help the province recover following the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013.
In a ceremony here, NGCP formally turned over a new three-classroom school building to Palo 1 Central School. The other schools were turned over in November.
The 21 beneficiary schools are spread out in nine local government units (LGUs) of Leyte namely, Palo, Tolosa, Ormoc City, Tan-auan, Sta. Fe, Alang-alang, Barugo, Carigara and Capoocan.
Around 10,000 students are expected to benefit from the new school buildings.
Aside from the Palo 1 Central School, the beneficiary schools include Gacao Elementary School and Caloogan Elementary in Palo; Sta. Fe Central School and Tibak Elementary School, both in Sta.Fe; Dolores Elementary School in Ormoc; and Sta. Rosa Elementary School in Barugo.
NGCP corporate affairs department head Nelson Cabangon said the three-classroom buildings are built sturdier, and can withstand wind velocities of up to 250 kilometers per hour, which is the standard of the Department of Public Works and Highways for typhoon-resilient structures.
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He also said the classrooms’ roofing is reinforced using a new method of connecting the galvanized iron sheet to the trestle. The walls are thicker, almost double the width of the old classrooms’ walls.
Moreover, the facilities have movable dividers and can be used as evacuation centers during calamities or for other indoor school activities.
Cabangon also said the project was initiated and completed in line with NGCP’s corporate social responsibility projects, which aim to contribute to the development of education in the country.
“This project is one very close to our hearts. After seeing the devastation brought by Yolanda, and taking a direct part in restoration and rebuilding, we felt it necessary to carry over these efforts beyond transmission facilities. The school is said to be the second home of children, and for them to see their school rise from the ruins of the typhoon will empower them,” he said.
In the aftermath of Yolanda, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla, the former governor of Leyte, sought the help of the private sector, including NGCP, to facilitate recovery and rehabilitation efforts.
NGCP is a privately owned corporation in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid. It transmits high-voltage electricity through “power superhighways” that include the interconnected system of transmission lines, towers, substations, and related assets. The consortium holds the 25-year concession to operate the country’s power transmission network.