Lobregat to DepEd: Fast track school building program PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 02 September 2017 13:29

Due to the large gap in the line of accomplishments in the School Building Program (SBP) by the Department of Education (DepEd), House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations vice-chairman, Congressman Celso Lobregat told the department to move double time in order to catch up with their large margin of deficit in terms of obligating the appropriated budget of the department for the said purpose.

Congressman Lobregat revealed that at present, out of the P109-Billion pesos budget for the SBP of DepEd in the entire country, only P3.90 Billion was released as of July, which worries the solon and the committee as a whole.

The solon said these revelations of DepEd is very disturbing, and what worries him is the possible reversion of the said appropriation to the general fund if the said amount will not be obligated until its deadline towards the end of this year.

“I told DepEd that let us not find fault on them for lack of coordination, or to DPWH for lack of personnel, let us look for remedies or solution to this problem immediately,” Lobregat said.

The life of the appropriations is good only for one year, the solon said. He told DepEd to admit that they cannot complete the SBP program within this year.

Congressman Lobregat told DepEd officials during their budget hearing to make an appeal in Congress, that a law will be passed amending the 2017 General Appropriations Act (GAA) to extend the life of their budget for another year for the programs to be completed.

Because of this development, Lobregat called the officials of DepEd and DPWH in the city to determine the current status of the SBP program here.

Recall, the solon has been the one leading DepEd and DPWH officials way back in 2016 in validating the identified sites for the SBP and proposed some change of plan for schools that does not have buildable space for the new buildings.

Lobregat said, “At least we have ten projects now for completion and there are only remaining four other projects which still needs to complete the procedures in soil testing.”

“I told DPWH and DepEd here not to wait for the result of the soil testing which is a long process, instead make already the necessary plans so that sufficient funds for the purpose will be obligated before the end of the year,” Lobregat added.

The fund appropriations for the SBP is already there but it cannot be downloaded without the plans and estimates.

“I hope the two agencies will act on this matter with sense of urgency, or else it will be our loss, we have to take advantage of the abundant funds for the SBP program of the present administration,” Lobregat stressed.

He said that both DepEd and DPWH have to realize that they have to fast track on the needed requirements of DBM in order to avail of such opportunity in obtaining sufficient funds for public school buildings. (Dexter Yap/PR)