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P1B set for heritage school repairs

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THE DEPARTMENT of Budget and Management (DBM) said on Tuesday that it has approved the release of P1.134 billion to rehabilitate school buildings regarded as heritage structures.

In a statement, the DBM said it has affirmed the release of a Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) amounting to P1.134 billion to help restore Gabaldon School Buildings and other heritage school structures.

The amount, which was approved for release on March 1, is expected to benefit 654 classrooms in 83 sites nationwide.

“Whether nestled in bustling cities or remote provinces, these historic edifices hold the promise of progress,” Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said. 

Galbadons are referred to as old school buildings built during the American colonial period. Its design is inspired by the traditional nipa hut and stone house designs. To date, there are 2,045 Gabaldon Schoolhouses nationwide.

The 2024 General Appropriations Act (GAA) includes special provision no. 21, which states that heritage school buildings, including Gabaldon school buildings, must be preserved and restored as part of the country’s cultural conservation efforts.

The preservation of these buildings is also mandated under Republic Act No. 11194, the Gabaldon School Buildings Conservation Act, as well as its implementing rules and regulations.

The Departments of Education (DepEd) and Public Works and Highways (DPWH) are mandated to ensure the full restoration of the old school buildings.

The National Commission for Culture and Arts, the National Historical Commission, and the National Museum of the Philippines are also conducting joint inspections of the buildings, according to DepEd. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz

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