Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman approved on 15 May 2023 the release of funds amounting to P15,151,709,646.00 for the construction of 4,912 classrooms in 1,194 sites nationwide.
“The timely release of these funds, a joint request of the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) and the Department of Education (DepEd), demonstrates that the PBBM administration does not hold back on investing in education. We need to build and repair classrooms to keep up with increasing enrollment in our public schools,” Secretary Pangandaman said.
Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte earlier identified classroom shortage as the most urgent education issue and has committed to closing gaps in school infrastructure.
“Our schoolchildren need to be in an environment conducive to learning and fun. Kailangan nila ng ligtas, malinis at maaliwalas na mga silid-aralan para makapag-aral nang mabuti. Sila ang ating best investment,” Sec. Pangandaman added.
To recall, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in his budget message vowed to prioritize the construction of new classrooms under DepEd’s Basic Education Facilities (BEF) as face-to-face classes started to resume.
Total construction cost is P15,020,282,176.00.
This includes the construction, replacement and completion of kindergarten, elementary and secondary schoolbuildings and technical vocational laboratories; the installation or replacement of disability access facilities; the construction of water and sanitation facilities; and site improvement.
On the other hand, P131,427,470.00 will be used for Engineering and Administrative Overhead (EAO) expenses.
This includes the hiring of individuals; conduct of preliminary and detailed engineering activities; pre-construction activities; construction project management; testing and quality control; acquisition, rehabilitation and repair of related equipment and parts; training, communication, per diem, and transportation expenses; and contingencies related to pre-construction activities.
Catherine R. Cueto