DepEd gets P2B to build classroomsBy Dona Z. Pazzibugan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) donated P2 billion to the Department of Education (DepEd) to construct up to 2,000 classrooms in public schools by the end of 2014.
Under an agreement signed on Friday, the state gaming corporation reserved the prerogative to chose the beneficiaries and the areas where these classrooms would be built from a list provided by the DepEd.
Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, who signed the memorandum of agreement together with Pagcor chief Cristino Naguiat Jr. and Education Secretary Armin Luistro, said he might ask for an exemption from the election ban on disbursing public funds at the regional level “to fast-track the construction of some classrooms in time for the opening of classes in June.”
Luistro said “the support of our partners from the government and the private sector will bring us closer to our goal of achieving a zero backlog in classrooms under the term of President Aquino.”
The Department of Public Works and Highways will undertake the actual construction based on the DepEd’s architectural plans for the classroom structures. This will be “subject to Pagcor’s final approval,” a statement from the gaming corporation also said.
Pagcor’s donations are part of what they tag “Matuwid na Daan sa Silid Aralan” project, which supports the Aquino administration’s program to fill the shortage of classrooms.
Each year, however, the classroom shortage goes up due to the annual increase in enrollment, a statement from
“By December 2013, we hope to finish the construction of the 66,800, which are part of the backlog identified in 2010,” he said.
Luistro reported that more than 32,000 classrooms have been built as of December 2012.
Luistro said the classrooms that will be constructed using Pagcor’s P2-billion donation will cover the backlog that was not included in 2010.