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PIA Press Release
2007/09/27

Habitat for Humanity partners with DepEd for school building and teacher housing

Pasig City (27 September) -- Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Jesli A. Lapus today signed a memorandum of agreement with Habitat for Humanity Philippines Foundation, Inc. forging a partnership for the construction of school buildings and teacher housing through the Department's Adopt-A-School Program (ASP).

"While we recognize the need to continuously build classrooms, today we emphasize the need to build classrooms cost-effectively and with the participation of stakeholders in the community. We also recognize the need to help our teachers find affordable housing facilities through Habitat," said Lapus.

The partnership provides private sector entities the opportunity to donate classrooms through the Habitat way which involves volunteer efforts of community stakeholders and cheaper construction costs.

The partnership also opens an opportunity to provide affordable housing for DepEd employees. With Habitat as the builder of the facilities, the local government will be tapped to provide the land. DepEd employees can avail of the housing package through the community mortgage program or the Pag-IBIG Fund.

"With Habitat's technology and with the support of our local government, we can provide very affordable housing for our teaching and non-teaching personnel, especially for those who have no permanent homes," Lapus added.

Lapus has ordered a task force to determine the number of DepEd personnel who will benefit from the housing facility with Habitat. He also asked the team to go through the details of the project, including ways on how to fund the facility. Meanwhile, Habitat President and Chief Executie Officer Alberto L. Jugo said that a teacher could pay as low as P600-P1000 / month for a duplex if paid for thirty years through the Pag-IBIG Fund.

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian ministry that seeks to eliminate housing shortage. They work with people of all backgrounds and religions to build houses together with families in need. Today, it has built more than 15,000 houses in the Philippines in more than 100 communities.

Quoting an African proverb, " It takes a village to educate a child," Lapus said the partnership will not only help build more affordable classrooms and homes, it, too, will engage and encourage more stakeholders to be involved in channeling resources to public schools.

The engagement is being coursed through DepEd's ASP which facilitates private-public partnerships for education. The Adopt-A-School Program was relaunched in September 2006 by Lapus to generate more resources and interventions from the private sector. It has since generated P4.5 billion worth of agreements signed, commitments, pledges and actual contributions, surpassing the P2.1 billion generated by the program from year 2000 to 2006. (DepEd) [top]

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