COA: 2012 classroom construction target short by 72%
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Department of Education (DepEd) missed its target number of constructed new classrooms for 2012 by a huge 72%, the Commission on Audit (COA) said in a report posted on its website on Wednesday, January 22.
Only 2,313 or 28% of the 8,353 targeted classrooms for construction in 2012 were completed.
Auditors found out that 5,797 proposed classrooms were still listed under “ongoing construction,” while 243 proposed classrooms have not been started.
A total of P7.71 billion was allotted for the school building project that year under the School Building Projects of the Basic Educational Facilities Fund (BEFF).
COA said the completed classrooms were valued at only P1.88 billion, while the unfinished units totaled P5.83 billion.
Moreover, auditors revealed the following regional offices as the worst performers in terms of accomplishing their classroom construction targets:
- DepEd-ARMM – 0% (0 out of 1,032 units completed)
- DepEd-Region 12 (SOCCSKSARGEN) – 8% (39 out of 483 units completed)
- DepEd-Region 7 (Central Visayas) – 10% (73 out of 751 units completed)
- DepEd-NCR – 14% (41 out of 1,000 units completed)
- DepEd-Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula) – 18% (60 out of 339 units completed)
COA attributed the unaccomplished targets to the following:
- lack of periodic monitoring of implementation by technical personnel of DepEd
- delays in the procurement/bidding process
- late release by the DepEd Central Office of Sub-Allotment Release Order (for mobilization)
- laxity in the enforcement of the terms of contracts
These factors, according to COA, "affected the attainment of the goal of DepEd in reducing or eliminating the classroom shortage."
The agency said it had submitted on December 18 a copy of the audit report to Education Secretary Armin Luistro.
On Friday, January 24, DepEd reacted to the COA report, noting that their target date in closing classroom backlogs is May 2013 because they follow the school calendar, not the fiscal year.
"Among other factors, we set the deadline to this date because we need to consider the disruptions to classes and school activities which may be caused by construction work," the statement read.
DepEd also said they are constantly working with the private sector and other government agencies to address their backlogs.
The audit report includes recommendations for the imposition of sanctions against private contractors who failed to deliver on their commitments, and the imposition of administrative penalties against DepEd field officers who were supposed to make sure that the completion deadlines were met.
COA also said its Technical Service Office will review the cost per classroom based on contracts awarded by the DepEd. – Rappler.com