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DPWH to build 6,098 more classrooms nationwide

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P9.41 billion to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the government’s primary construction arm, to build 6,098 classrooms in 956 high schools nationwide for the Department of Education (DepEd).
Charged under the DepEd’s Basic Educational Facilities Fund (BEFF) in the 2015 National Budget, the fund release of P9.41 billion will increase the capacity of public high schools, as well as accommodate the rising number of students each year. Only P61.5 million of the BEFF is left for release, pending the submission of documentary requirements by the DepEd.
“We’ve already closed the classroom gap based on the 2010 backlog target, and now we’re determined to build more classrooms due to the increasing number of enrollees each year. We are also preparing for the proper implementation of the K-12 program by next year,” Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said.
“There have been delays in the construction of these classrooms, due to the education agency’s exhaustive process in assessing their targets. However, the DepEd had to identify and validate the safety of these sites first as part of the National Government’s ‘Build Back Better’ strategy,” Abad said.
Of the 15 regions, Region IV-A (Calabarzon) will have the highest allocation with P2.17 billion to build 1,349 classrooms. This is followed by NCR with P1.29 billion for 751 classrooms and Region VI with P1.2 billion for 835 classrooms.
Aside from the allocation for the classrooms above amounting to P9.33 billion, the releases also include buffer funds of P82.6 million to ensure there would be appropriate budgetary support for additional foundation works if needed.
The education agency received P377.7 billion this year, the highest budget among all departments and agencies. It will continue to have the largest allocation in the 2016 proposed budget with P435.9 billion, an increase of 15.4 percent or P58.2 billion from last year, to cover its programs and projects.
“With 99.87 percent of the BEFF already released, the National Government can now focus on achieving our construction targets for the year. More importantly, the building of these school facilities will help us improve the quality of education to better prepare our graduates for work or higher education,” the budget chief said.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.