Philippines awards second school PPP phase

The Department of Education has awarded the $215m social infrastructure project to the same corporation that won phase 1.

The Department of Education of the Philippine government is commencing another classroom construction project through the PPP mode, and has awarded the PHP8.8 billion (€150 million; $215 million) PPP for School Infrastructure Project Phase 2 (PSIP II) to one of the private sector bidders that won the first phase.

According to a Philippines Public-Private Partnership Centre statement, the Education Department awarded PSIP II to two firms: Megawide Investment Corporation, a domestic construction firm that won the first phase of PSIP; and a consortium comprising BSP & Co and Vicente T. Lao Construction.

The two winners will be taking on different sections of construction in different regions, and are expected to start on their contracts as soon as paperwork is processed. In all, the private sector partners will be expected to design, finance, and construct around 10,679 one-storey and two-storey classrooms, including furniture, fixtures and toilets, in 5,033 public schools in 14 regions nationwide.

PSIP II, like its predecessor Phase I, will be conducted on a build-transfer basis, which means that the private sector partners must complete the classrooms to a certain standard, and they will get paid for their services.

Phase I was a PHP16.28 billion project that was awarded last September, but only involved the construction of 9,300 classrooms in Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines. So far, 342 of those classrooms have been completed while 2,930 others have started construction.

The Department of Education initiated the classroom PPP in an effort to cut the shortage of classrooms in the Philippines, which in 2010 stood at 66,800. That gap has almost been bridged, with the government completing 43,424 classrooms and these two projects set to complete the rest, according to Jesus Mateo, the Department of Education Assistant Secretary for Planning.

“The Department has really been doing a lot of changes not only in terms of addressing the shortages in basic education resources but in the system as a whole,” Mateo said in another statement.