Press Release
April 1, 2013


The education sector should have a fair share in the expected influx of foreign investments as a result of Fitch Ratings' investment upgrade of the country last week, Sen. Chiz Escudero said.

Escudero said investments in school buildings under the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme is the most effective use of capital under the program initiated by the Aquino administration since returns are guaranteed for private firms while the government solves the perennial lack of school buildings and invests in the country's future through educating the youth at the same time.

The first PPP school building project broke ground last month in Teresa, Rizal under the first phase of the PPP for School Infrastructure Project (PSIP) of the Department of Education (DepEd).

Under the project, a two storey-four classroom school building will be built by Citicore-Megawide Consortium for the Pantay National High School in Barangay Dalig, Teresa in Rizal.

The PSIP's Notice to Proceed (NTP) was approved by DepEd last Feb. 5, 2012. However, NTPs for the construction of the school buildings will be issued separately for each site.

The DepEd said the entire 9,300 classrooms under the PSIP I project will be finished by February next year.

Escudero said PPP for school buildings complement the priority in his next term on the infusion of P500,000 for each municipality in the country from his priority development assistance fund (PDAF) for the repair and rehabilitation of school buildings.

The senator reiterated his challenge to his colleagues at the Senate to equally distribute their PDAF throughout the entire country.

He said that if each of the 24 senators adopts the practice and contributes P500,000 each from their individual PDAFs, every municipality in the country will receive P12 million every six years for development projects such as the construction of school buildings.

"The continuous funding would be crucial in improving the delivery of government services throughout the country," Escudero said.

He said his next six year term would have his PDAF allocated for the repair and rehabilitation of public schools after giving priority to the repair and rehabilitation of public markets during his current term.

"Repair and rehabilitation of public schools will be far cheaper than putting up new schools, thus stretching the funds to increase the number of classrooms to meet the backlog in school buildings particularly with the additional years of schooling under the K+12 program," Escudero said.

He said his PDAF allocations are downloaded directly to local governments to facilitate its use by giving local officials discretion on its use.

He added that funds will also be earmarked for the refurbishing of several dormant school buildings in the country which are not being used because of their dilapidated conditions.

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