>Bohol School Building Project

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  After a successful Batch 1, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Provincial Government of Bohol are embarking into Batch 2 of Kilos Asenso school building projects for public high schools worth P53.04 million.
  Gov. Erico Aumentado said Malacañang has approved in principle his proposal for the construction of 34 two-classroom school buildings at P780,000 each or a total of P26.52 million.
  On the other hand, DepEd sent a sample contract to jointly undertake the construction of another 34 school buildings which he has forwarded to Provincial Legal Officer Handel Lagunay for the compliance of all requisites to the governor’s signature.
  Barring any hitches, Aumentado and Education Secretary Jesli Lapus will sign the agreement during a function that the latter will attend at the Bohol Tropics Resort on November 28.
  The approvals came in the heels of Aumentado’s presentation of separate pictorial reports on Batch 1 last week to Secretary Cerge Remonde of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) and to Undersecretary Ramon Bacani who takes charges of DepEd’s physical facilities.
  DepEd classifies schools with 1:56 classroom to student population ratio as “red,” while those with more students or with no classroom at all are “black.” Both classifications are top in the department’s priority for the construction of new school buildings.
  Under the Aumentado proposal of convergence strategy, he said the provincial government is ready with its P13.26 million as counterpart to the same amount with President Arroyo, and another P13.26 million as counterpart to an equal amount with DepEd.
  He said the province has a standing appropriation of P21 million for the purpose as certified by the provincial budget officer and the treasurer. The balance will be taken from the 2009 budget.
  The governor said he readily got the approvals after emphasizing that while the P780,000 has increased by 30 percent over the Batch 1 costing of P600,000, it is still way below the costing of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and DepEd’s Principal-Led program of over P1 million per building. The increase will cover the escalation of prices, he explained.
  The provincial government specifies a standard 56-square-meter-classroom, with toilet, electricity, water connection, painting and blackboards. Some of the buildings in Batch 1 constructed by the Philippine Army’s Engineer Support Battalion (ESBn) based in Brgy. Macaas in Tubigon town under Lt. Col. Ramon Ruiz even got armchairs the unit donated from funds intended for labor cost. The workers saved on this item because they already got paid as soldiers.
  Some of the DPWH and DepEd classrooms do not even have toilets, water connections, electricity, painting or blackboards, and are smaller – measuring only 49- or even 42 sq. m., depending on their location, he observed. – June Blanco, Sunday Post

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