The implementation of the K to 12 Program of the government which started in 2013 requires additional classroom facilities to supplement the program.  Acknowledging this issue, the Department of Education (DepEd) has taken actions to address the anticipated classroom shortages. The Public-Private Partnership School Infrastructure Project (PSIP II) and Basic Education Facilities (BEF) Projects are among the programs aimed at easing classroom shortages. In the region, these projects are being implemented in selected sites.

To assess status of implementation of these projects in selected sites in the province of Cagayan, the Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC)-Project Monitoring Team conducted a two-day field monitoring visit last March 19 and 20, 2015. The team composed of NEDA(2), PIA (2), DBM (1), DILG (1) and DepED (1)visited the school building projects constructed under the Public-Private Partnership School Infrastructure Project II and Basic Education Facilities projects in the municipalities of Aparri, Camalaniugan, Gattaran, Solana, Tuguegarao City and Peñablanca, all in the Province of Cagayan.

Under the PSIP II, five schools were visited, headed by Dir. Purita Licas of the Philippine Information Agency, RO2, as RPMC member. The PSIP II project involves the design, financing and construction of classrooms including furniture and fixtures in selected project sites regionwide. Among its beneficiaries are the Nagatutuan Elementary School and Don Mariano Marcos NHS in Gattaran, Gadu NHS in Solana and Cabbo NHS and Peñablanca NHS in Peñablanca, Cagayan. Four of the earlier mentioned schools were already completed with a total of seven new classrooms that are now being utilized respectively. The Peñablanca NHS, however is still being constructed with 60% completion rate and expected to be completed in the second quarter.

On the other hand, eight Basic Educational Facilities (BEF) projects implemented by DPWH were also monitored by the RPMC-PMT. These are the Aparri School of Arts & Trade, Aparri East Central School, Camalaniugan NHS, Calaoagan Dakkel NHS, Peñablanca NHS, Cabbo NHS, Maddarulog ES and Cagayan NHS. Seven of the schools visited with a total of 17 new classrooms were already 100% completed and are being used by the schools, except the ten-classroom two-story building at Aparri East Central School, which is still under construction and is behind schedule due to the intermittent weather condition as well as the delay of the fabrication of the roofing material as cited by Remigio Construction. The contractor was then advised to fast tract the construction until the second week of April 2015.

According to the teachers and school administrators, the construction of additional school buildings and classrooms thru the PSIP II and BEF have eased classroom shortages and provided additional facilities. Accordingly, DepEd’s1:45 standard classroom-student ratio has been achieved in most schools visited.#