To accelerate the construction of classrooms nationwide, the implementation of the School Building Program (SBP) should be transferred to the Department of Education (DepEd) from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Education Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del Pascua made this suggestion in order to speed up the construction of classrooms in public schools across the country.
“DepEd has a bigger stake and more concern over these projects, making it the better agency to work out the immediate implementation and completion of school buildings,” Pascua said.
Pascua also pointed out that DepEd has successfully implemented local-and foreign-assisted school building projects in the past through the Principal-led Scheme of School Building Construction.
“The scheme provided a greater sense of project ownership by the school and the community, which strengthened project monitoring, resulting in high integrity and quality completed project,” Pascua said.
The said scheme, Pascua said, was also cited for “Best Practice Award by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in 2008.
Currently, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that the construction of school buildings is not the “sole responsibility” of DepEd but is also in collaboration with the DPWH.
She also acknowledged the need for reevaluation of building designs before constructing new classrooms to address its shortage in the country and to ensure disaster risk reduction in schools.