Vice President and Education secretary Sara Duterte tagged classroom shortages as the most urgent education issue, with two out of three school buildings in poor condition.

“The lack of school infrastructure and resources to support the ideal teaching process is the most pressing issue pounding the Philippine basic education,” said Duterte.

The DepEd’s first-ever Basic Education Report (Ber) data showed that only around 104,000 out of 328,000 education facilities are in good condition. 

“The DepEd is not blind to the reality that there is a need to build and repair classrooms to accommodate the growing number of learners,” Duterte added.

She added that the DepEd’s 2023 budget will give them power to construct around 6,000 classrooms. This is only about 6.5% of the 91,000 classroom shortage it projected in August. 

Duterte also said that other than the insufficient budget allocated for constructing new classrooms annually, recent typhoons have also affected some schools with weak infrastructure. 

Around 17,000 classrooms damaged by Supertyphoon Odette in 2021 are still in need of repair or replacement, which would need a budget of about P9.82 billion, Duterte added.

The agency is facing a backlog of around 190,000 school buildings that need minor to major repairs for various reasons.

“Our schools are not calamity-proof,” she said.



Ronald Espartinez