/ 25 September 2022

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian proposes for local government units to be given the task of constructing classrooms to efficiently address the shortage nationwide.

“DepEd will get 50 percent of the funds, and the LGU gets the other 50 percent, but it’s the LGU that builds. I think that is quite effective. In effect, you now have thousands of LGUs simultaneously building,” said Gatchalian.

During a recent budget hearing of the Senate Committee on Finance on the proposed 2023 National Expenditure Program, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education pointed out the construction of classrooms is a perennial problem.

Citing figures from the Department of Education, Department of Budget and Management Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said as of December 31 of last year, only 191 classrooms were constructed while around 15,000 constructions are ongoing, some of which date all the way from 2014.

The budget chief added for 2021, the Department of Public and Works and Highways’ obligation rate for the construction of school buildings was 92 percent, but the disbursement rate was only at 45 percent.

The DPWH is tasked with the construction of school buildings.

“The concept there is to decentralize the construction because the construction part is the bottleneck,” Gatchalian added.