IPs in Mindanao to get 605 new classrooms 

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P500 million ($10.71 million) for the construction of 605 classrooms for students from indigenous peoples' (IP) communities in Mindanao.

The fund released to the Department of Education (DepEd) is for the implementation of the "Establishment of New Public Schools for Indigenous Peoples in Mindanao: Classroom Component" project, the DBM said in a statement Friday, May 27.

The education department proposed the project in December 2015, and the funds for it were charged against the contingent fund for 2015, as approved by President Benigno Aquino III early this month. (READ: Luistro: Don't forget far-flung schools)

The new classrooms will be built on 251 sites in the following provinces:

For school year 2016-2017, these classrooms will cater to an estimated 19,622 students from the following IP groups:

The new classrooms will be built on land in the beneficiaries' ancestral domain. DepEd and IP groups will execute a contract of usufruct for the use of the land for educational purposes.

DepEd will employ members of the beneficiary communities to build the classrooms within the implementation framework of the social welfare department's Kalahi-CIDSS National Community-Driven Development Program.

In building the classrooms, DBM said the design will be based on indigenous architecture instead of the standard design of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Local materials will also be used during the construction of the classroom, which will each cost an average of P825,000 ($17,664.07) – lower than the P1.1 million ($23,552.09) cost of the standard DPWH design for a single story classroom with a toilet. Rappler.com

*US$1 = P46.71