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DepEd erases classroom backlogs with 66,813 new ones

CARMONA, Cavite — The government has built 66,813 new classrooms that has finally wiped out the backlog inherited from the past administration in 2010, President Aquino declared on Monday.

Payatas B, Quezon City, Manila Bulletin

The DepEd boasts of having delivered 66,813 new classrooms to erase the backlog. It also said it erased backlogs on textbooks and schoolchairs. (Photo by KJ Rosales)

At the ceremonial turnover of the new classrooms in Carmona National High School, the President commended Education Secretary Armin Luistro and the rest of the department for a “job well done” in improving the country’s public education system.

During the ceremony, Luistro presented Aquino with a building replica representing 66,813 completed classrooms as of December 2013.

Aquino said the latest government success is not due to “miracle or manipulated numbers” but unity, dedication and professionalism of the concerned government agencies as well as the prudent use of public funds. He praised Luistro for even exceeding the target set.

The President also thanked the local government units, local and foreign donors as well as the private sector that helped in building the new classrooms.

More than 35,000 classrooms were funded by the national budget; 13,189 classrooms from local government funds; 14,886 from local donations; 1,215 from foreign donations; and 2,242 from public-private partnership for school infrastructure project. The classrooms ranged from one-story structure to multi-floor buildings. Australia reportedly gave the biggest foreign donation.

Aquino also praised DepEd for erasing the backlog of 2.5 million school chairs using confiscated lumber. The backlog of 62 million textbooks was also addressed back in 2012.

Meanwhile, Aquino revealed the need for 4,000 new public teachers.

Luistro said the department plans to build more classrooms this year to prepare for the full implementation of the senior high school (Grades 11 and 12) in 2016.