Press Release
September 19, 2011


Senator Franklin Drilon on Monday called on the Commission on Audit (CoA) to look into what appears to be a huge disparity between the cost-effective schoolbuilding program initiated by the lawmaker in partnership with the private sector and that of the Department of Education (DepEd).

"The CoA should look into it... That's a proper area for a CoA inquiry," said Drilon, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, in an interview with reporters.

Drilon said there is basis for the state audit agency to scrutinize the costing of the DepEd's school building program, adding that the construction of each classroom through the Drilon- Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII) program is cheaper by half compared to the cost of classrooms built by the government.

Drilon said through his partnership with the private sector, cost effective school buildings would only cost P650,000 per building with two classrooms, while that amount would only build one classroom under the DepEd.

As such, Drilon asked the DepEd to study how to lower the outlay for the government's school building program, using the Drilon-FFCCCII program as a blueprint.

DepEd officials led by Secretary Armin Luistro said the government's cost of building classrooms is relatively high, citing contractor's tax and contractor's profit, among others.

"This may be correct but this does not account for the double the amount," Drilon stated. "I'm not saying that they reduce their cost by half but make it a reasonable item."

To date, the program has built about 1,400 classrooms all over the country since the Drilon-FFCCCII school-building program started in 2002. The fund comes from Drilon's Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel.

A total of P18.2 billion is allocated for the DepEd under the proposed P1.816 trillion national budget for 2012 for the construction and refurbishment of 15,000 classrooms, provision of 2.5 million seats and 25,000 sanitiation facilities.

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