Source: Philippine Star, 7 December 2011

MANILA, Philippines – An initial batch of 10,000 classrooms will be constructed under the administration’s public-private partnership (PPP) scheme by the second quarter of next year.

Education Secretary Armin Luistro told The STAR the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has made “substantial approval” of the initial guidelines set by the DepEd technical working group (TWG) in charge of coming out with the parameters and bid documents that will be issued to groups participating in the bidding for the classroom construction.

“We believe we can have the public bidding early next year,” he said.

“It will be an initial batch of 10,000 classrooms in the first year, and another 10,000 in the next year and then another 10,000 in the next.”

DepEd had set aside a budget of P1.5 billion to P2 billion for servicing the financing requirements of classroom construction, Luistro said.

The construction of 30,000 classrooms, if successfully implemented, will enable DepEd to slash by almost half the classroom shortage in public schools within a period of three years under the PPP scheme.

As of school year 2011-2012, the classroom shortage has been placed at 68,000.

The bidding for the construction of classrooms was expected to present new technologies to allow the completion of classrooms in a period of two months to as short as one month, Luistro said.

The DepEd TWG on the PPP-funded classroom construction program is working with the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Department of Finance, the Department of Budget and Management and the PPP Center on the bidding.

Education Assistant Secretary Jesus Mateo, a member of the DepEd TWG, said they expect to finish the bid documents by February next year.

DepEd earlier decided to conduct a public bidding after several groups had submitted proposals to help it plug the classroom shortage in public schools under the PPP scheme.