The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) released on Monday, October 27, P2 billion to put up much needed school buildings in the country.
This brought to P7 billion in funding that Pagcor has released for the government’s “Matuwid na Daan sa Silid-Aralan” project.
“Working closely with the education sector helped us see the plight of public schools in remote areas around the country. While the classrooms donated by PAGCOR improved the learning conditions of many students, numerous buildings are still needed to completely address the problem on classroom shortage,”Pagcor Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat Jr. said in a statement.
Naguiat said his agency has so far eked out P7 billion in funding for the education sector, saying this was “a big investment that will benefit the Filipino youth in the years to come.”
The additional funding will widen the reach of the program and will benefit more schools in far-flug areas, Pagcor said.
Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro, meanwhile, said the issue of 66,800 classroom backlog in 2010 has already been solved following the new Pagcor funding.
Still, Luistro said there was a need for annual repairs and replacements of classrooms that were built between 30 and 50years ago.
This meant that by 2015, the department will be able to complete 1,070 classrooms and by 2016, eventually complete all the classrooms to be built using the P2 billion donation of Pagcor.
“Maipagma-malaki natin ang mga Pagcor classrooms na ito. The PAGCOR classrooms are a lot better than our margin for a typical classroom. This is a good social infrastructure that we should continue to provide all over the country,” Singson said.
It will be the Department of Education (Deped) that will provide the teachers and support staff needed for the operation of the new school buildings. DepEd will also provide classroom furniture such as chairs and tables as well as attend to the maintenance and repairs of the buildings, according to Pagcor.
Since the launch of the project in 2011, the school building program of Pagcor, DepEd and DPWH has so far compeleted a total of 906 classrooms in 201 sites nationwide, while 630 classrooms in 123 sites are under construction from the initial P5 billion funding.
Bohol, which was damaged by a strong earthquake last year, will also have classrooms constructed.
Among the areas with completed classrooms include Baguio, Benguet, Ilocos, Pangasinan, Isabela, Cagayan, Nueva Viscaya, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon Province, Antipolo, Rizal, Oriental Mindoro, Romblon, Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Bacolod, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Cebu, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Samar, Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Bukidnon, Davao City, Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Sultan Kudarat, Pagcor said.