A counterparting agreement with a total fund of PhP 103,834,392.38 for the construction of 68 classrooms in Valenzuela City was inked this morning by the City, through Mayor Sherwin T. Gatchalian, and the Department of Education (DepEd), through Secretary Armin Luistro.
The Counterparting Program was signed by the Department of Education (DepEd), the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) on January 8, 2011 to ensure the sufficiency of classrooms serving Filipino school children nationwide.
Under the MOA, the financing agreement will be on 50-50 counterparting scheme. The initial 50% of the building cost will come from the Local Government Unit (LGU). The release of the counterpart fund from DepEd will be made upon the certification of the LGU that its 50% share has been fully-spent and after the DepEd Schools Division Superintendent has certified that the construction is 50% complete.
The agreement signed with Valenzuela City involves construction of 3-storey, 18-classroom building in Pio Valenzuela Elementary School and a 4-storey, 50-classroom building in Dalandanan National High School. For the construction of these classrooms, the City’s share would be PhP 53,834,392.38 covering approximately 34 classrooms. Construction of these classroom buildings is currently on-going.
DepEd data shows that the classroom shortage in Valenzuela City remains at 1,084 classrooms, as of School Year 2010-2011. The 68 classrooms built through the Counterparting Program, along with other 53 classrooms under DepEd’s 2011 Basic Education Facilities Fund, will reduce the deficit by 11.16%, or a remaining shortage of 963 classrooms.
Since March 2011, DepEd has already signed MOAs with other 6 provinces and 9 cities for the implementation of the National and Local Government Counterparting Program, now the MOA with Valenzuela City, the program hits the 1-Billion peso mark.
When the program is fully-implemented, a total of 1174 new classroom will shelter students. “This is a milestone, we recognize the fact that our school building program cannot be pursued without the strong partnership with the Local Government Units (LGUs),” Sec. Luistro said.
Mayor WIN is, likewise, very happy with the new partnership with DepEd. “The City has earmarked a PhP 225M classroom infrastructure program for the year 2011, but we are still far from addressing the classroom shortage. The counterparting program is, therefore, a great boost to the city’s commitment to reduce the student-to-classroom ratio to the ideal 45:1 for elementary schools and 50:1 for secondary schools,” he said.
Witnessing the signing are DepEd Undersecretary for Finance and Administration Department, Hon. Francisco M. Varela, Schools Division Superintendent - DepEd Division of Valenzuela, Dr. Flordeliza R. Mayari, Chief of Physical Facilities and Schools Engineering Division, Engr. Oliver R. Hernandez, Valenzuela City Administrator, Atty. Teresita Capacillo, Valenzuela City Planning and Development Officer, Ms. Josie Acurantes, City Engineering Office Officer-in-Charge, Ms. Praceli S. Nelson and City Public Information Officer, Ms. Ahna F. Mejia,.