Classroom shortage to be addressed in 2013
MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has received P10.05 billion from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for infrastructure projects appropriated to the Department of Education (DepEd).
Construction projects of all government agencies are centralized with the DPWH.
According to the General Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2013, a total of P14.1 billion from the Basic Education Program should be administered by the DPWH for the construction of infrastructure used for education. The Basic Education Program obtained an allocation of P231.4 billion.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said that the funds were allocated to address the shortage of classrooms and other educational facilities. The P10-billion budget for DepEd should translate to the construction and/or rehabilitation of 10,584 schools nationwide.
According to the DepEd, in school year 2010-2011 alone, there was a classroom backlog of 66,800. As of Feb 28, 2013, the backlog had been signifcantly reduced by 32,669. DepEd targets to finally close the backlog by 2013.
Breakdown of the budget
The National Capital Region got the largest share from the education budget, accounting for P1.7 billion of the budget release. Region IV-A and Region VIII came next with allocations amounting to P1.2 billion and P827.7 million, respectively.
The budget chief also noted that P683.3 million of the budget release was allocated for the construction of schools in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Interestingly, the region with the most number of schools in need of construction or rehabilitation did not get the largest share of the budget. Region VIII which is expected to have about a thousand schools in need of construction and rehabilitation projects (the highest number), ranked only 3rd highest in terms of budget allocation.
“As we continue to work toward greater peace and security in the country, there is a real need to improve social services in communities where armed conflict has continually undermined growth. Schoolchildren in ARMM should most certainly benefit from the administration’s education initiatives, and this fund release ensures that they will have enough well-built classrooms to accommodate them,” Abad said. - Rappler.com
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