Drilon questions P650,000 cost to construct just one classroom
Saying that he detected overpricing, Senator Franklin Drilon has called on the Commission on Audit to look into the Department of Education’s spending for the construction of school buildings.
Drilon issued the call after the Senate finance committee which he chairs learned that the DepEd spent P650,000 for the construction of one classroom that measured seven meters by nine meters.
An outraged Drilon said that using his pork barrel, he spent half the amount for a classroom of the same size “with toilet, a blackboard and two doors.”
“I can spend P5,000 per square meter for a classroom while the DepEd spends for the same for P10,000. The COA should look into it. (This) is a proper area for a COA inquiry,” he said after attending the hearing on the DepEd’s proposed budget for 2012.
Drilon disclosed at the hearing that the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII) had assisted him in implementing projects that sought to construct public school classrooms.
“P650,000 can already fund the cost of putting up a new building of two classrooms. This already includes a supervision fee of 1.5 percent to three percent paid to the (Department of Public Works and Highways),” Drilon said.
Responding to Drilon’s outburst, Education Secretary Armin Luistro said, “We need to standardize the different expenses, but a private contractor also has a profit margin which the federation does not have.”
Drilon replied, “But a 100 percent profit margin is a little bit excessive.”
The secretary was at the Senate Monday to explain why his department needed P18 billion for the construction of new school buildings.
He said the country needed to build 66,000 new classrooms, adding that 20,000 new ones would be erected by December.
The DepEd plans to erase the backlog of 46,000 classrooms by December 2012.
Drilon said the FFCCCII had pledged to construct 700 school buildings of two classrooms each at P650,000 with standard DepEd specifications.
“The FFCCCII cost is P5,128 per square meter against the DepEd’s P10,300 per square meter,” Drilon added.
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