P7B released to DepEd for building, repair of 9,000 classrooms

Published by rudy Date posted on May 9, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—Funds totaling P7 billion has been released to the Department of Education for building and repairing of some 9,000 new and existing classrooms nationwide, Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad said on Monday.

Abad said the release has been charged against the P11.29-billion budget item called “lump sum fund for the requirements of basic educational facilities.”

The budget chief explained that aside from the construction of classrooms, this lump-sum fund could be used for the acquisition of school furniture and fixtures.

He said that of the fund release, the biggest recipients were the National Capital Region (P1 billion), Region IV-A, or the Calabarzon [Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon] (P841 million), Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (P660 million), and Region VII, or Central Visayas (P563 million).

In total, the P7 billion will cover expenses for 8,997 classrooms, which are expected to accommodate 404,865 students.

This is “(i)n line with President Aquino’s Social Contract with the Filipino People, where education is the central strategy for investing in the people and enhancing the youth’s opportunity to gain meaningful employment,” Abad said.

He added that for 2011, the DepEd budget was increased by P32.3 billion to P207.3 billion—the largest increase it has had in more than a decade—to fund the construction of classrooms, hiring of teachers, purchase of textbooks and other activities.

According to DepEd’s Physical Facilities and School’s Engineering Division, for each elementary classroom built from the current year’s funds, there should be at least 23 tables and 46 chairs, and a minimum 45 armchairs for each secondary classroom.

Also, there shall be a set of table and chair for teachers, including blackboards in both levels.

Last March, Abad said the Department of Budget and Management released P5.769 billion for a DepEd program called Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education, or GASTPE, which is expected to benefit 910,902 “poor yet deserving students” across the country.

GASTPE is aimed at decongesting public high schools by subsidizing the transfer of public high-school students to private schools, which have the capacity to absorb more students.

A beneficiary receives a tuition subsidy of P10,000 yearly in NCR and P5,000 for each grantee outside NCR. –Ronnel Domingo, Philippine Daily Inquirer

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