THE government will infuse P31.8 billion more into the K-to-12 program for the construction of 22,325 classrooms that will accommodate the growing number of students all over the country.
According to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the amount was released to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) which will undertake the construction. The Department of Education (DepEd), on the other hand, will identify the areas where the new classrooms will be erected.
The P31.8 billion will be charged against the DepEd’s Provision and Maintenance of Basic Educational Facilities—also known as the Basic Educational Facilities Fund (BEFF)— in their FY 2014 Budget (RA 10633, Continuing Appropriations) and FY 2015 Budget (Republic Act 10651).
“Every year, we face the need to build more classrooms due to the growing number of public school students. Fortunately, we’re able to keep pace by allotting yearly increases in budgetary support for quality classrooms. With enough public funds for our education system, we can construct new school buildings or rehabilitate damaged classrooms,” Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said.
“This takes time as the process of determining the number of targets is very exhaustive, with DepEd giving us a list of classrooms only after a thorough assessment. But we’re confident of achieving these requirements as the success of the Administration’s K-to-12 school program depends on our efforts,” he added.
Of the P31.8 billion, P3.47 billion will be taken from the P44.6-billion BEFF budget for 2014. The amount was specifically allocated to the BEFF for the “construction, replacement, and completion of kindergarten, elementary, and secondary school buildings and the construction of water and sanitation facilities.”
Abad said this is supposed to “address remaining shortages and meet the requirements of the K-to-12 Basic Education Program.”