Senator Franklin Drilon and the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII) forged ties by signing a memorandum of agreement to build more classrooms in the country.

The P50-million deal which was signed Tuesday night in Binondo, Manila is expected to create cost-effective public school buildings in the provinces of Benguet, Bulacan, Laguna, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Cebu, Zamboanga and Davao, among many others.

The fund will come from Drilon’s Priority Development Assistance Fund. The FFCCCII is the implementing agency and the fund will be administered by the Public Works department.

“We have been supporting the school-building program with the FFCCCII for nearly a decade now to contribute to the country’s educational infrastructure,” Drilon said, adding that the construction of each classroom by FFCCCII is about half the cost of classrooms built by the government.

To date, the program has built about 1,400 classrooms all over the country since the Drilon-FFCCCII school-building program started in 2002.

“We are doing this because we are investing in the future of the youth,” he added.

The Philippines faces an estimated shortage of 152,569 classrooms, according to a study made by the Education department for 2010-2011, based on a ratio of 45 students to one classroom.

The Filipino-Chinese umbrella business group has a network of 170 member organizations in the Philippines.