Gov’t releases P500M for indigenous schools in Mindanao

  • The DBM released P500 million for the construction of public schools in Mindanao
  • The new schools will benefit students coming from indigenous tribes
  • The schools will follow designs based on indigenous architecture and will be built on the beneficiaries’ ancestral domain

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released a total of P500 million for the construction of new indigenous people’s (IP) schools in Mindanao to support the Department of Education’s (DepEd) thrust to promote development in the area.

In an article published by Sun Star Manila on May 27, 2016, it was disclosed that DBM Secretary Florencio Abad said that the allocated budget will be utilized for the building of 605 classrooms in 251 different sites in the provinces of Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay, Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Sarangani, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, and Agusan del Norte.

According to the DepEd, the project will benefit at least 19,622 public school students coming from the tribes of Subanen, Sama-Bajau, Higaonon, Matigsalog, Manobo, Talaandig, Tigwahanon, Umayamnon, Ata-Manobo, Bagobo, Blaan, Diangan, Dibabawon, Mandaya, Mansaka, Matigsalog, Tagakaolo, Tagabawa/Bagobo, Manobo-Dulangan, Tboli, Uvu Manobo, Banwaon, and Mamanwa, who are enrolled for the upcoming school year 2016-2017.

The budget, which was charged against the 2015 contingent fund of the DepEd, was part of the allocations proposed by the department in December 2015, which President Benigno Simeon Aquino III approved earlier this month.

Based on data coming from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the standard cost of a classroom with toilet for a single story building would cost around P1.1 million. However, since the project’s design follows indigenous architecture, each classroom would only cost around P825,000.

Moreover, the lands on which the schools will be built are part of the beneficiaries’ ancestral domain, and local materials will be used in the construction of facilities.