Pagcor sets additional P3B to build more classrooms in public schools
The government’s campaign to build more classrooms in public schools nationwide got another big boost from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) as the agency allocated an additional P3 billion funding for its “Matuwid na Daan sa Silid-Aralan” project.
This brought Pagcor’s total funding for its school building program to a staggering P10 billion, the state-owned firm said in a statement on Friday.
President Benigno Aquino III himself witnessed the release of the additional funding to the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), which coincided with the inauguration and formal turn-over of two new school buildings at the Tarlac National High School in Tarlac City on Friday.
Pagcor chairman and chief executive officer Cristino Naguiat Jr. said the additional funding will ensure that more public schools in far-flung communities will have new classrooms.
“We embarked on this project almost five years ago bearing in mind President Aquino’s directive to us to help address the basic problems of the education sector like the lack of classrooms. The P10 billion allocation for the school building project is the biggest funding ever provided by our agency for a single project in Pagcor’s history,” he said.
Pagcor said it is only under Naguiat’s leadership that the agency took on a huge commitment to build thousands of classrooms to benefit a myriad of students. Unlike the previous management which did not build a single learning facility, Naguiat’s administration prioritized programs that greatly improve the learning conditions of public school children, it further said.
“This is our biggest legacy to the Filipino youth, to provide a comfortable and healthy environment that will encourage students to study even more. We will continue to do our share with the valuable help of DepEd and DPWH,” said Naguiat.
Under the school building program, the DepEd identifies the public schools which are in need of new classrooms while the DPWH handles the construction of these classrooms.
DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson said the additional classrooms that will be constructed using the additional P3 billion funding from Pagcor will augment the classroom requirements for K to 12.
“Since multi-storey buildings ang mga tinatayo, they are ideal for higher years (senior high school). Magaganda ang design ng Pagcor school buildings kaya marami ang pumupuri dito,” Singson said.
Out of almost 4,500 classrooms being built under the first P7 billion funding, Pagcor said about 1,124 in 239 sites had already been completed,while the rest are under construction.
The agency said close to 1,300 typhoon-resilient classrooms are being constructed in over 300 sites in areas which were devastated by supertyphoon Yolanda. Pagcor said the classrooms, which can cost up to P1.6 million each, are more expensive compared to typical classrooms because they are designed to withstand strong typhoons and floods.
Unlike many old learning facilities, the Pagcor—funded classrooms are also more spacious, which can accommodate up to 60 students, the gaming firm added.
During the turn-over of the additional funding for Pagcor’s school building project, Aquino also inaugurated 30 new classrooms donated by the government to Tarlac National High School (TNHS) main and its annex in Tarlac City on Friday.
Aquino was joined by Naguiat, Singson, DepEd Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro, and Technical and Educational Skills Development Administration (Tesda) Secretary Joel Villanueva. AU
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