SQUARE POINT: Floods vs. education PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 31 August 2014 14:28

BY Jack Edward Enriquez


During rainy days usually caused by a tropical storm or sometimes just a severe weather disturbance, low lying areas easily get inundated as if the rainwater is trapped due to clogged drainage canals or none at all. More so when big volume of water from the mountain rushes down as flash floods, overflowing the rivers and creeks, spilling over several barangays including some areas in the city proper.

Tugbungan is the most affected during floods because it is  the last barangay that receives all the water flowing in the main river from upper Pasonanca down to the open sea in Arena Blanco.

In a recent inspection trip conducted by Mayor Beng Climaco Salazar together with other city and barangay officials, police authorities and troops of TFZ headed by Col. Colina, it was found out that there are squatters not only along riverbanks but also right within the river, portion of the riprap in Tugbungan has collapsed, the riverbed is heavy with silt aside from the garbage thrown by careless residents and the big, sturdy dikes constructed by fishpond owners that obstruct the flow of the water. Immediately the City Executive issued a directive to eject the squatters as soon as possible, clean the river, restore the dilapidated flood control structure and demolish the illegal dikes

Whenever the school ground is underwater, classes cannot be held in the Tugbungan Elem School. No matter how much effort exerted by DepEd officials to improve our educational system and impart the needed education to every child in the community. But if classes are suspended every now and then, the result is indeed poor How can we expect the children to fully learn or grab every bit of education with all these interruptions in the learning process?

Our good friend School Principal Inocente Saavedra is finding it so hard to adjust the days of classes as well as the probating of lessons and other school activities in order to accomplish satisfactory results by the end of the school year. Mr. Saavedra recommended the opening of a separate drainage canal as an exclusive outlet for the water to pass from the school ground to the river. The existing canal is not enough to accommodate all the water from other parts of the barangay, the principal pointed out.

Another problem Mr. Saavedra brought to the attention of the city and barangay officials is the conversion of the school building into temporary evacuation center during big floods and other calamities. With the presence of evacuees in the school, classes cannot be normally held for one reason or another which aggravates the already worst state of the campus. We can negotiate for the use of a private establishment as evacuation center until the barangay can put up a building for the said purpose, he suggested.

We know very well that Tugbungan is only one of the several barangays with the same predicament as a result of natural calamities, even man-made. As the city government is focusing on flood control projects, hopefully the drainage system in schools and permanent evacuation centers in selected areas would also be given top priority

At the rate our population is growing against the coming of opportunities in life, the education of our children should not be hampered in any manner.