President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday said the classroom shortage in the country will be solved by 2013 through the public-private partnership program.
The PPP is the centerpiece infrastructure scheme of the Aquino administration where the private sector is tapped to invest in government projects.
In his speech during the 4th National Congress of the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations, Aquino said there was a shortage of 66,800 classrooms when he took the post in 2010.
“In 2011, we built at least 15,000 (classrooms). Roughly about a fourth of the problem has been eliminated,” he said.
He added that for 2012, about 35,000 classrooms are expected to be constructed through the public-private partnership program. He said this will bring the total number of classrooms built to 50,000, leaving a net of 16,800.
“Therefore, by 2013, there will be further 15,000 clearly from private (endeavor) plus the other donations, plus other sources will eliminate the shortage of 66,800 roughly in the third year of our administration,” Aquino said.
Each classroom would cost P700,000, the President said, based on the amount given to him by Education Secretary Armin Luistro.
“What would the amount be, Brother, for each classroom? You multiply P700,000 to give you the budgetary outlay needed to complete the 66,800 (classrooms),” Aquino said.
Also in his speech, the President reiterated his commitment to provide Filipinos all the opportunity to learn because “an educated individual is an empowered individual.”
Aquino said it was his dream to be able to give all Filipinos a chance to study the same way his parents accorded him the opportunity to learn.
He cited his father, the late Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., for having inculcated in him the importance of education early in his life.
“He (the late Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr.) said ‘Today you may be famous, but tomorrow you may be nothing. Today you may be rich, tomorrow you may be poor… but once you have imbibed from the fountain of knowledge, that is yours forever, regardless of whatever happens’,” the President said.
“My parents gave me the opportunity to face up to the challenges that may come my way so I would like to give the same opportunity to each and every Filipino so that they will reach the fullest of their potential,” he added.
[From GMA News]