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PIA Press Release
2008/08/15

Carmen mayor wants to check schools, government buildings

by JMD Abangan

TAGUM, Davao del Norte (15 August) -- Carmen Municipal Mayor Marcelino Perandos yesterday (Thursday) issued an administrative order directing concerned local government agencies to inspect public school buildings and vital installations.

In an interview, he said he asked the municipal fire and police offices including the Municipal Engineering Office to check school buildings and other government establishments such as barangay halls.

The move was an offshoot to the recent two fire incidents in barangays Mabuhay and Mangalkal.

In yesterday's Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) meeting at the Bulwagan ng Lalawigan, Perandos reported that a school building of Mabuhay National High School (MNHS) with seven classrooms, turned to ashes due to fire which occurred on August 5.

About 200 MNHS students left with no classrooms, are now attending classes "under the mango" and under other shade their teachers could find to hold classes, Perandos said.

Though worried of the big blow, Perandos was glad that a number of schools even those outside of Carmen were contributing something to help address the plight of the students.

"The students now have armchairs but still they don't have classrooms," said Perandos who is hopeful of help to come from the provincial government of Davao del Norte and from the Department of Education.

Before the municipal government could completely solve the fire incident in Mabuhay, another school building went on fire on August 13 (Wednesday) in Mangalkal where a school building with four classrooms and a Home Economics building were burned.

Perandos could not yet ascertain the causes as "investigation is going on" but he saw a "peculiar coincidence" of the two fire incidents.

He said that the buildings eaten by fire were old and was built during the time of President Ferdinand Marcos.

Meanwhile, Carmen municipal police officer Chief Inspector Jimmy Paloma in a separate interview shared his "unofficial" assessment, saying the MNHS fire incident could be "intentional or due to faulty wiring" while that in Mangalkal "could possibly be due to faulty wiring."

His office could not be the tasked agency to officially come up with an official report on the matter but the Bureau of Fire, but Paloma based his assessment on the "police work" that his office had done.

On the other hand, Mayor Perandos said the municipal government of Carmen will continue to push for progress and that the fire incidents in his municipality "do not hinder efforts to pursue development plans." (PIA) [top]

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