One reason for the insufficient budget for school buildings allotted to the region is the implementation of Republic Act No. 7880, also known as the Fair and Equitable Access to Education Act, or the Roxas Law.
The law, authored by then Senator Mar Roxas, was signed in 1995. It sought to establish an objective mechanism that would make equitable the allocation of the DepED’s budget for capital outlay through the use of school-age population as basis. Specifically, the law provided that on its second year of effectivity and every year thereafter: (1) fifty percent shall be allocated pro-rata according to each legislative district’s student population in relation to the total student population of the country; (2) forty percent of the total capital outlay shall be allocated only among those legislative districts with classroom shortages based on the 45:1 student-classroom ratio; (3) ten percent shall be allocated as determined by the DepED.
The main goal of the Roxas Law was to ensure fair and equitable access to the infrastructure and tools necessary for quality education. However, because it set the national standard of 45:1 student-classroom ratio, it marginalized regions and legislative districts) with low populations. It, in effect, transferred funds from poorer areas to the more progressive ones. (Read more.)