SENATOR Sonny Angara yesterday said instead of “playing catch up with backlogs” in school buildings, the government should “build forward”, by constructing in advance classrooms for future enrollees.
“I think we should now implement a zero-backlog program. Let’s choose a year when it will be achieved. And once that’s done, let’s stock up on new classrooms that will be ready in time for new enrollees to come in,” Angara said.
Angara explained that what he is proposing “is not the public sector equivalent of condo hoarding because the classrooms that will be built will not remain unused for long but will be immediately put to use.”
However, he said to realize this, the “government must extend its ‘Build, Build, Build’ program to the education sector.”
“Forecasted naman ang enrollees sa mga DepEd schools and state universities and colleges (SUC). For DepEd, every increase of 400,000 enrollees should ideally birth 10,000 new classrooms. With that as basis, we can construct the anticipated needs. For once, let’s be ahead of the demand curve,” he pointed out.
Angara made the proposal as budget documents showed that the Malacañang-recommended P20 billion for the construction of new public classrooms next year is good for 8,000 rooms -- way below DepEd’s request of P172.5 billion for 64,795 rooms.