Press Release
September 4, 2012


During the budget hearing for the Department of Education (DepEd) at the Senate earlier today, Senator Edgardo J. Angara underscored the importance of decentralizing the process of building new classrooms to the regional education centers and tapping private companies for funding in order to speed up the bidding and construction of the much-needed structures.

The DepEd reported that from the start of the new administration until August of this year, they have turned over 23,646 classrooms--more than a third of the 66,000 goal of the department. Aside from those constructed through the DepEd budget, this number includes the classrooms donated by other government agencies, non-government organizations and private companies and associations such as the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII).

Angara, chair of the the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, explained, "there are so many companies who are eager to donate funds for the building of new classrooms all over the Philippines. The FFCCCII, for instance, has an ongoing classroom construction project--which I promised to match through my PDAF."

According to Angara, who is also vice-chair of the Senate Finance Committee, this is an ideal way to speed up the construction of classrooms "without compromising the quality of the structures and the integrity of the financial outlay."

"We are already on the ninth month of the year and still we are lagging behind in classroom construction because of the amount of paperwork needed to begin. We need to cut down on the number of steps to expedite this process," he stressed.

The veteran legislator proposed that the DepEd should reach out to smaller, regional contractors to do the classroom construction especially in the more distant provinces. This way, he explains, local firms more familiar with the landscape will handle these projects, without the added expense and effort of importing from and coordinating with their central offices.

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