P105 B needed annually to plug classroom shortage by 2030 – DepEd
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) said that around P105 billion yearly is needed to completely address the classroom shortage by 2030.
“The actual shortage is 165,433, less what will be built this year, [it could] end up at 159,000. The universal value of the shortage is around P420 billion. If we want to address it in the next six years until 2030, we need a budget [of] P105 billion a year to be able to zero out all the backlogs, assuming a 12,000 new classroom requirement every year,” said Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III during the Senate deliberations on the proposed 2024 budget of DepEd and attached agencies on Monday.
According to Densing, an average classroom costs P2.5 million. At this rate, the DepEd will be able to build 5,000 to 6,000 classrooms per year.
Senator Imee Marcos said this is “hardly going to make a dent” in the 165,000 classroom shortage nationwide.
This prompted her to ask if DepEd is eyeing the use of technology for prefabricated school buildings, similar to what was utilized during the administration of her father – former president Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr.
Densing said the DepEd is coordinating with the Department of Public Works and Highways to consider this “new type” of building classrooms.
“Just to make a significant stride on the school buildings program, while we cannot address the shortage in the medium term, the DepEd will focus on the medium term at least to ensure that every learner is to be put in a regular classroom because based on our statistics on the ground, 1,004,000 students are being taught in makeshift and temporary classrooms and literally open spaces,” he added.
Densing added that moving forward, the long-term objective of DepEd is to build multi-story buildings to “maximize buildable spaces” across the archipelago.