MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) is
confident that it will be able to ease classroom shortage and other gaps
in basic education in the next two years with continued support from
various education stakeholders.
During the formal turnover of the proceeds from the Jollibee’s Build-
A-Classroom project, Education Secretary Armin Luistro said that while
DepEd budget allocation for 2011 increased by some 19 percent, it could
hardly match the resource requirements of at least one million new
entrants to the public school system every year.
“Aside from preparing classrooms from at least one million new
entrants to the public school system every year, we are also bracing
ourselves to the additional batch of pupils in kindergarten which has
become compulsory beginning school year 2011-2012 and we also need to
build new classrooms each year to replace ageing school buildings and
those that were destroyed by calamities,” Luistro said.
Data from DepEd showed that classroom shortage in the country stands
at over 152,000 on a single shift to meet the 1:45 ideal classroom to
“However, we are confident that the department can close the
classroom shortage gap in two years if the fund matching trend continues
and if it finds more public and private partners who can come up with
creative ways to fund school building construction,” he said.
According to Jollibee Vice President for Marketing Albert Cuadrante,
the Build-A-Classroom project is part of the “Maaga ang Pasko” campaign
which aims to collect books and toys to be distributed to children in
“We wanted to open more channels for people to help so we came up
with the campaign. Through this, donated a portion of the proceeds from
the sales of the limited edition Jollibee and Friends Dolls will go to
the Build-a-Classroom project,” Cuadrante said.
Last year, over 400,000 Jollibee and Friends Dolls were sold from
which a total of P12 million was raised to fund the construction of
public school classrooms.
“With the additional P8 million donated by the Jollibee Franchisees
Association and Jollibee Foundation, we can build as many as 40
classrooms beginning 2011,” Cuadrante said.
On its 16th year, the Maaga ang Pasko campaign has already handed out close to 2 million gifts to children in need nationwide.
“This is a testament to the growing generosity that Filipinos share,
and proof that the campaign is growing even bigger and will continue to
grow for years to come,” said Cuadrante.
Jollibee’s campaign also enjoyed support from a bigger network of
partners, with 33 partner companies and 60 partner schools going all-out
for the cause. “Thousands of Jolly Toy Scouts signed up to volunteer as
ambassadors of Christmas cheer, joining the donation clean-up drives to
collecting toys and books,” Cuadrante said.
“Throughout the years, Jollibee Maaga ang Pasko has grown to become a
national movement that has spread cheer and happiness to Pinoy kids.
And with the help of partners and the volunteer Jolly Toy Scouts,
Jollibee Maaga ang Pasko will continue to make a positive and concrete
change in the lives of less fortunate children in the years to come,”
Luistro said that DepEd is intensifying its efforts to partner with other organizations to meet the shortages in public schools.
“We cannot do this alone that’s why we are looking for ways to address the problems as soon as possible,” he said.
Recently, DepEd tapped support of the League of Municipalities,
League of Cities, and League of Provinces for a 50/50 counter-parting
program so the local government units could shoulder fifty percent of
the total cost of school building and the remaining 50 percent will come
Manila Bulletin Online, Ina Hernado-Malipot, 02-12-2011