CEBU City is getting almost P600 million from the Department of Education (DepEd) this year to build 352 classrooms for senior high school.

This, as the City Government’s Local School Board (LSB) said there is an estimated P219 million available under its Special Education Fund (SEF) this year.

For the classrooms, LSB head Raddy Diola said the money comes from the Basic Education Facility Fund of DepEd for 2015.

Of the more than 352 classrooms to be built, he said 214 classrooms, costing almost P350 million, will be bid out by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) this month.

Some 120 classrooms, costing P180 million, will be bid out next. This will be followed by 18 classrooms that will cost P27 million.

Each classroom is expected to cost P1.5 million.

Diola, in an interview yesterday, said the additional classrooms will be a big help, considering that senior high school, or Grades 11 and 12, is in need to 400 classrooms.

Senior high school is part of DepEd’s K to 12 program, which is designed to bring basic education in the Philippines at par with international standards.

Additional funding

Diola said all the classrooms are expected to be finished by next March to comply with DepEd’s directive to finish them before the start of the implementation of Grades 11 and 12 in the next school year.

Diola also said 350 additional classrooms are needed for public elementary and high schools in the city.

Their construction, he said, will be funded by the City’s SEF.

This year, the City has a budget of P385 million under the SEF but the City Council earlier questioned how education programs would be implemented.

Only P9 million is reportedly available, considering that P165.3 million is placed in a time deposit. Half of which will mature in December yet, while the other half will mature in January.

Ester Cubero, executive assistant of the Office of the Mayor, clarified this.

Based on the records of the City Treasurer’s Office, P219 million is available under the SEF, which can be used for programs and projects. SEF amounts to about one percent of the total real property tax collections.

Of the total amount, P160 million is the total collection from January to April this year, while the P59 million is a surplus from last year.

“So we really have the money. The money is there,” she said.