SUBIC, ZAMBALES, February 10, 2023 – The Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) renewed their partnership in strengthening the School Building Program (SBP) to address the nationwide classroom gaps.

During the 2023 National Planning Conference: School Building Program (NPC-SBP), DepEd Undersecretary for School Infrastructure and Facilities Epimaco V. Densing III and DPWH Assistant Secretary for Regional Operations Antonio V. Molano Jr., represented their agencies in renewing the partnership in the implementation of the School Building Program under the Basic Education Facilities Fund of the department.

Vice President and Secretary of Education Sara Z. Duterte, in her Basic Education Report 2023, mentioned that the lack of school infrastructure and resources remains one of the biggest challenges the basic education sector faces.

In response to this, VP-Sec. Duterte launched the MATATAG Agenda which includes the establishment of the School Infrastructure and Facilities strand, headed by Undersecretary Epimaco V. Densing III, entirely devoted to addressing long-standing issues on education facilities and infrastructure.

“Together, let us work harder to build more schools and classrooms for our Filipino children and youth so they can learn, develop, and realize their full potential,” VP-Sec. Duterte said.

Meanwhile, some significant roles and responsibilities in the partnership include DPWH processing the necessary permits and clearances, ensuring the construction of complete buildings, and assigning a DPWH Project Engineer to confirm the findings of DepEd.

On the other hand, DepEd, through its Division Engineer, shall assist DPWH in the needed documents for application, approval, and issuance of permits, monitor project implementation, particularly in the critical stages of construction, and inform the DPWH Project Engineer of observed defaults in the construction.

Furthermore, the agreement has likewise noted the reporting arrangements and task force mobilization of both Program Management Offices (PMOs) at the Regional Offices and quality assurance teams.

In addition, the direct release of funds to the DPWH Central Office for the construction and repair of school buildings will be based on the approved list and Sub-Allotment Releasing Order (SARO) issued by the Department of Budget and Management.

Kaya kailangan po namin kayo sa pakikipaglaban na ito. Malinaw na malinaw po ang importansiya ng pakikiisa ng bawat isa sa atin,” Usec. Densing said.

Spearheaded by the Office of the Undersecretary for School Infrastructure and Facilities – EFD, the four-day NPC-SBP, hosted by DepEd Olongapo City Division, DepEd Region III (Central Luzon), aims to establish concrete directions for the overall short, medium, and long-term planning of the SBP.