By Ronald O. Reyes
PALO, Leyte—The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Wednesday turned over two school buildings with 14 classrooms in Palo, Leyte — the third classroom building project completed by the said agency this year.
Palo was one of the municipalities ravaged by typhoon Yolanda in November 2013.
Andrew Holland, USAID supervisory contracting/agreement officer who led the turn-over ceremony of two buildings with 14 classrooms in Palo I Central School, said: “The United States government and other countries in the world have great determination to rebuild your lives after Yolanda.”
Holland added that aside from schools, the U.S. government is also keen on its livelihood and health care assistance to the Yolanda affected communities.
Melfe Grace Sanchez, school principal of Palo I Central School, said: “This project, which started last year, is a testimony to our conviction that has turned into reality” as she thanked the USAID and Education officials.
Students of Palo I Central School used to occupy temporary learning spaces without water and electrical facilities. Sixth grader Shan Abril, 11, said he was happy about the changes in his school.
“We are now comfortable inside the classroom. It feels good that our school is beautiful again,” added Queency Tobilla, another pupil.
According to Engr. Carlos Tan, USAID Rebuild Deputy Chief of Party for Infrastructure, USAID-Rebuild is targeting the completion of over 250 classrooms by January 2016. This is under their medium-term disaster rehabilitation program in Leyte municipalities.
USAID is working with local governments in building the classrooms.
“These classrooms will be earthquake and typhoon-resilient, taking the lesson after the powerful storm Yolanda,” he said. (Manila Standard Today)