THE Aquino government has released P7.35 billion to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the construction of classrooms in public elementary and secondary schools nationwide.

Chargeable against the Department of Education’s (DepEd) budget for Basic Educational Facilities, P7.35 billion was allotted for the construction of 7,136 classrooms in 4,007 sites throughout the country, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said Sunday.

Of the 7,136 classrooms, 5,916 will be built in elementary schools, while 1,220 will be situated in secondary schools.

"Just because we closed the classroom gap doesn't mean we're going to sit on our laurels. The Aquino administration is as committed as ever to ensuring that our public schools can accommodate the increasing number of enrollees per year," Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said.

"When we equip our schools adequately for the school year ahead, we give our schoolchildren a better chance at doing well in their studies. Teachers are also able to deliver their lessons in an environment that actually facilitates learning," Abad said.

Out of the 15 regions, the largest amount was released to the Bicol region with P1.15 billion allotted for the construction of 1,111 classrooms.

Soccsksargen (Region XII), which will get P960.8 million for the provinces of South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and General Santos City.

Central Visayas was given P753.9 million to construct 710 classrooms in elementary and secondary schools.

“Now that we're getting the next year's budget ready, we're prepared to make even larger investments towards improving the public education system,” Abad said. (SDR/Sunnex)