GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/05 October) – The provincial government of South Cotabato is working for the release before yearend of its P30-million loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) to facilitate the construction of additional classrooms in various public schools of the province.
South Cotabato Gov. Arthur Pingoy Jr. said Wednesday they received an advisory from DBP that it would release the local government’s loan within the next 45 days, subject to their compliance with the bank’s lending requirements.
He said the DBP is currently waiting for the official copy of a resolution recently passed by the provincial board that authorized the governor to enter into a loan contract with the government-owned and controlled bank.
The local government used its special education fund or SEF as collateral for the DBP loan, which is payable for 10 years at an annual interest of 7.5 percent, Pingoy said.
“We’re targeting to start the construction of the additional classrooms before the end of the year,” the governor said.
He initially directed the Provincial Engineer’s Office to prepare the necessary plans for the construction of the additional classrooms.
Pingoy said the local government sought for the DBP loan to finance the construction of 177 additional classrooms in public elementary and secondary schools in the province’s 10 towns and lone city.
He said such figure comprises the province’s classroom deficiency for this school year based on data from the Basic Education Information System of the Department of Education’s (DepEd) South Cotabato division.
The governor said the local government initially forged an agreement with local construction firm Chiu Kim Construction for a 1:1 counterpart scheme, wherein the firm would build an additional classroom for every classroom contract that it would get.
He said DepEd also offered to build three classrooms for every classroom that the provincial government would build.
“Based on our computation, we only need to cover for 25 percent of the total number of classrooms that we will be building until next year,” Pingoy said.
Meantime, the governor said the provincial board also approved the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the provincial government and the Dole Philippines’ Mahintana Foundation for the provision of additional armchairs for local public schools.
He said Mahintana Foundation offered to finance the manufacture of some 5,000 armchairs for elementary and high schools in the province, which lacks a total of 15,000 armchairs this year. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)