MALOLOS CITY: The Department of Education (DepEd) has completed the construction of 2,885 classrooms in Central Luzon through its Public-Private Partnership for School Infrastructure Project (PSIP) Phase 1.
The classrooms, which were officially turned over to school officials on Friday by President Benigno Aquino 3rd, were part of the 7,144 units to be built in 12 provinces across Central Luzon and CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) through the PSIP Phase 1. The classrooms will benefit 2.66 million students.
The PSIP Phase 1, awarded to the Citicore-Megawide Consortium, is the first social infrastructure PPP project under the Aquino Administration.
At the turnover ceremony held at the Sto. Rosario campus of the Malolos Integrated School, Aquino led the inspection of the classrooms – a two-story, 18-classroom building and a one story six-classroom building. Joining the President was DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro, PPP Center Executive Director Cosette Canilao, and Bulacan local government officials.
Edgar Saavedra, president and chief operating officer of Citicore-Megawide, said the classrooms are different from the traditional boxed-in type rooms.
Saavedra, who joined Aquino in the ceremony, said the classrooms are wider since the load-bearing walls eliminate the need for wall posts and the stair areas have wider clearance.
“They were designed to withstand storm signal 3 conditions,” Saavedra said.
He said the company is also building classrooms in far-flung and remote areas to help poor students get quality education. “We build schools on islands, on top of mountains, in places where there are no roads or electricity.”
The phase 1 project, under the Build-Lease-Transfer (BLT) scheme, involves the design, financing, and construction of the classrooms with a 10-year lease period.
The province of Nueva Ecija got the biggest share with 1,026 classrooms, followed by Bulacan with 742. Pampanga will have 551, while Tarlac, the home province of Aquino, received 317 classrooms.