MANILA, Philippines – Senate education committee chairman Edgardo Angara is confident the shortage of classrooms, teachers, textbooks, and other facilities in public schools will be gone by 2013, given the Department of Education's (DepEd) increased budget.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday after a hearing on the DepEd's proposed 2013 budget, Angara noted that the agency's budget has increased by 60 percent in the past two years.
"All the resource gaps in classrooms, teachers, and textbooks will be filled up by 2013," he said.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro earlier said during a hearing at the House of Representatives that the DepEd's P293.2 billion budget includes P13 billion of hiring more than P60,000 teachers and 3,500 non-teaching personnel.
Almost 18,000 new classrooms and more than 90,000 health and sanitation facilities will be built, and 31 million reading materials distributed to public schools nationwide, Luistro added.
Angara said, however, that the DepEd must also focus on improving the quality of education aside from addressing the resource gaps.
The senator pointed out that Filipino students need to be competitive on the global stage especially by 2015, when Southeast Asian countries will form one big community.
"Nowadays we cannot just judge our performance against each other but against other nationalities," Angara said. "We are going to be one big community, and competition is no longer just national."