The days 7 and 8 January, Fr. Francis Mosende, -Vice-Provincial Assistant-, Fr. Rommel Dupang –Vice-Provincial Treasurer-, and Fr. Miguel Artola – Vice-Provincial- went to visit Kiblawan accompanied by Fr. Canisius Cantilang on the first day, and by Fr. Dindo Pescos, on the second day.
During the visit to Kiblawan, we saw directly the effects of the earthquake which hit the area on December 15, 2019. The big earthquake (6.9) was followed by many aftershocks. In summary, this is what was seen:
- Four classrooms, with many cracks and damages, have been demolished already.
- Another six classrooms still can be used but with risk. That means there is a need to replace them as soon as possible.
- The kitchen and other things of the community have been transferred temporarily to the TLE room.
- The covered court is in good condition and in fact it is being utilized for classrooms (three sections). However, the wall at the back of the covered court must be demolished.
- The building where the canteen is located has many cracks and must be demolished.
- The community house has been evacuated. It is not anymore safe to live there.
- The members of the community are living in tents (inside one of the classrooms).
- One of the priests is living in the office of the chapel of Molopolo.
- Three temporary classrooms have been prepared with some materials of the former demolished rooms and with new materials.
- The library and the different offices of the school need major repairs.
- Our chapel of Molopolo is badly damaged, and now they are repairing the roof. The other chapels had many damages too.
- Other buildings of the town (schools, city hall, etc.) have many cracks.
- Many people in the area are living in tents, especially at night for the fear of more strong aftershocks.
On the afternoon of January 7, we had a long meeting with the members of the community, plus the visitors, and Alex Yumawan who is working with Itaka-Escolapios. We wanted to evaluate the damages and to look for the next steps in preparation for the reconstruction of the school.
We considered two levels of action:
- First level: to be able to prepare temporary classrooms, so that the students will not lose the school year, which finishes at the end of March 2020.
- Second level: different possibilities of the school are being studied. It was commented on what has been made in “Cor Iesu” College in Digos, which suffered many damages in the earthquake of October 2019, and has been demolished. They constructed new classrooms in a short period of time with light materials.
The plan to be prepared must be well made with clear specifications of expenses and giving the reasons for the chosen model.
On the morning of January 8, we have a new meeting with the same persons and the engineer who is making the house of the community of Kiblawan. On this occasion and helped by the professional expertise of the engineer we decided to follow the example of “Cor Iesu” College, but with some additional elements. We prepare three stages of actions considering the urgency of the reconstruction:
- 10 new classrooms, plus the reform of 6 classrooms with fewer damages.
- Laboratories, Library.
- Offices of the Principal – Guidance counselor, etc. Faculty room.
To prepare all these we will need the full time of an engineer working for two or three weeks, to prepare the project and the specified expenses in each stage. Itaka-Escolapios will give economical support for this elaboration of the project. Once it is finished, it could be sent to different institutions to request for help.
Our engineer prepared already the list of the affected parts of the school. Similar report must be signed by the engineers of the municipality. They can endorse this one, that has been well made, or prepare a new one. They are overloaded with many requests from the people of Kiblawan.
P. Miguel Artola Sch. P.