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MANILA: The government has approved the release of 1.63bn pesos for the construction of more classrooms in public schools nationwide.
A total ofP1.9bn pesos has been allocated for the construction of classrooms and payment of right of way fees for the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx) project.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the 1.63bn pesos had been allocated to cover the first-year lease payment for the Public-Private Partnership for School Infrastructure Project of the Department of Education (DepEd).
This DepEd program involves the design, construction, and maintenance of 9,301 classrooms, as well as school furniture and toilet facilities, in various school sites in Regions I, III and IV-A, he said.
Abad said President Aquino intends to fill the long-standing classroom gap in public schools.
“By working closely with the private sector, we can expedite classroom construction and do it in a cost-efficient way, so that our students and teachers will have enough classrooms by 2013,” he said.
Under the public-private partnership (PPP) project, the government will make an annual payment of 1.63bn pesos until 2021 to acquire the classrooms that were built through private sector initiatives.
The release of government funds will be charged against the DepEd’s appropriation for Requirement(s) for Basic Educational Facilities under the 2012 General Appropriations Act (GAA).
The remaining 328m pesos, meantime, was allotted for the right-of-way acquisition costs and tree replacements of the Department of Public Works and Highways, as part of government’s contribution to the construction of TPLEx.
Abad said the 327.8m pesos right-of-way acquisition cost is “chargeable” against the PPP Strategic Support Fund under DPWH’s budget in the 2012 GAA.
He added these are included in the special provision which authorises the agency to use the amount appropriated for PPP Strategic Support Fund to pay for government obligations created under contracts between the DPWH and private partners.
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