Manila – With families and students buckling up for the coming school year, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) announced the release of P1.13 billion to the Department of Education (DepEd) for the repair and rehabilitation of 5,055 classrooms damaged by typhoons Glenda and Yolanda and the Zamboanga siege.
Charged under Continuing Appropriations from the FY 2014 DepEd Budget, the latest release is part of the P2.85-billion appropriation for the repair, rehabilitation, and renovation of kindergarten, elementary, and secondary school buildings as well as repair of water and sanitation facilities. The P2.85 appropriation is part of the DepEd’s built-in allocation for the Provision and Maintenance of Basic Education Facilities (BEF), which amounts to P44.6 billion.
“The government continues to work at restoring normalcy in areas affected by various crises in previous years. Rehabilitating schools damaged by these disasters is especially important, given that school buildings also double as temporary shelters when disaster strikes,” Budget and Management Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said.
“The good news is that the Aquino administration has committed enough funds to repair these damaged schools. Our aim is to give students and teachers a school environment that’s conducive to learning,” Abad said.
The top three regions with the highest allocations are: Region VIII (Eastern Visayas) with P595 million, Region V (Bicol Region) with P150 million, and Region VII (Central Visayas) with P139 million.
The two regions in the Visayas that were heavily affected by Typhoon Yolanda in 2014—Region VIII and Region VII—will be getting the bulk of the appropriation. Region V was heavily damaged by Typhoon Glenda also last year, while the 2013 Zamboanga siege affected Zamboanga City in Region IX.
The following is the breakdown:
“Strengthening basic education is a major part of our inclusive growth campaign, whether it’s allocating P367 billion in this year’s budget or funding programs that will improve people’s access to quality education. But these should also go hand-in-hand with creating more resilient and disaster-proof school facilities. This is all in line with the Aquino administration’s goal to ‘Build-Back-Better’,” Abad said.
The amount of P1.13 billion is part of the scheduled releases to DepEd this year for the provision of basic facilities for education, with P1.72 billion remaining for the rest of 2015.