DepEd says building, repair of 4,000 classrooms, other programs affected due to budget delay
The Department of Education ( DepEd) said on Wednesday it failed to immediately award contracts for construction and repair of some 4,100 classrooms in public schools nationwide due to delay on in passage of the 2019 budget.
This as DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones, in a press briefing in Malacañang, said they were expecting 27.8 million students for the school year 2019-2020, both in public and private.
"We are expecting 27.8 million students. Right now, the last time I reported was there were more than 40,000 schools only, now we have 61,000 schools nationwide. Out of the 61,000 schools, 47,000 schools are DepEd schools," she said.
The number of students are from kindergarten to Grade 12.
Asked of the possible effect of the re-enacted budget during the first few months of the year, DepEd Undersecretary for Finance Annalyn Sevilla said, "January to March, we were not able to award any contract and we are supposed to build about 4,100 new classrooms and repair or replace a lot of classrooms as well."
When a classroom is new, the Department of Public Works and Highways implements it and if it entails a repair, the DepEd handles it, she said.
But despite the delay on the implementation, she said DepEd did an early procurement process
"So, we are just waiting for the awarding. Right now, we're waiting for the release of the allotment and we are closely coordinating. Yesterday, I was with DBM (Department of Budget and Management) and we are now working out for the immediate release so we can start the work," Sevilla added.
Sevila she said the most affected program of the DepEd due to budget impasse was creation and filling up of teachers position which is about 10,000 positions.
"But DBM said they will now release it because election ban has been lifted," she said.
The purchase of the school supplies and equipment and learning materials, as well as the voucher system, were
also affected, the official added.
President Rodrigo Duterte only signed into law the P3.757 trillion budget for this year in April after an impasse in Congress. Celerina Monte/DMS