The government has allotted P7.35 billion for the construction of 7,136 classrooms in 4,007 sites throughout the country in preparation for school year 2014-2015.
In a statement over the weekend, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said that the fund was released under a Special Allotment Release Order on May 14 to the Department of Public Works and Highways.
DBM said that the fund, chargeable against the Department of Education’s budget for Basic Educational Facilities, was allotted for the construction of 5,916 classrooms in public elementary schools and 1,220 classrooms in public secondary schools.
Out of the 15 regions, the largest amount was released to the Bicol Region (Region V) with P1.15 billion, allotted to it for the construction of 1,111 classrooms.
This is followed by Region XII, which got P960.8 million for the construction of classrooms in the provinces of South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and General Santos City.
Region VII (Western Visayas) was given P753.9 million to construct 710 classrooms in elementary and secondary schools in the region.
“When we equip our schools adequately for the school year ahead, we give our school children a better chance at doing well in their studies. Teachers are also able to deliver their lessons in an environment that facilitates learning,” DBM Secretary Florencio Abad said.
Abad said that government is committed to ensuring that public schools can accommodate the increasing number of enrollees every year.
“Year after year, the Aquino administration devotes the largest portion of the national budget to education. Now that we’re getting next year’s budget ready, we’re prepared to make even larger investments towards improving the public education system,” the budget secretary added.
Of the proposed P2.268-trillion budget for 2014, the education department has been given the biggest budget allocation among all national government agencies this year, amounting to P309.43 billion.
Comprising this is a P44.6-billion appropriation for the construction, repair and rehabilitation of at least 43,000 kindergarten, elementary and secondary school buildings nationwide.
Other education targets for the year include the procurement of additional textbooks and workbooks to attain the ideal 1:1 student per textbook ratio. In support of the K-12 Program, the amount of P1.7 billion has also been set aside for the procurement of over 42 million learning modules and teaching guides.