DepEd needs P18-B for temporary learning spaces

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2022 10:06 AM | Updated as of Aug 03 2022 10:16 AM

A classroom at Pacpaca Elementary School in Luba, Abra in the aftermath of a magnitude 7 earthquake that rocked parts of Luzon on July 27, 2022. Photo from the Department of Education.
A classroom at Pacpaca Elementary School in Luba, Abra in the aftermath of a magnitude 7 earthquake that rocked parts of Luzon on July 27, 2022. Photo from the Department of Education.

MANILA— The Department of Education is eyeing some P18 billion in quick response funds to rebuild facilities damaged by natural calamities, its spokesperson said Wednesday.

The department is looking into procuring temporary learning spaces for schools damaged by Typhoons Agaton and Odette and by the recent magnitude 7 earthquake in Northern Luzon ahead of the opening of classes, according to DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa. At least 35 schools were damaged in the recent quake. 

Poa said the temporary learning spaces are tents made of light materials that can be removed once a permanent facility has been set up. 

"We have funds for quick response pero di po siya kasya (but it's not enough). We're only given P2 billion a year, it's not enough," he told ANC's Headstart.

"Right now we've asked the President through the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) for additional funding of P16 billion to augment funds for quick intervention for areas affected by Odette, Agaton, and even earthquake-affected areas."

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte also instructed regional offices to coordinate with the health department to form a counseling program for the unvaccinated, Poa said.

"We're hoping the DOH can help us roll out mobile vaccination for those who will allow themselves to be vaccinated," he said.

As for the P4.5 billion unutilized funds flagged by the Commission on Audit, Poa attributed this to delays caused by COVID-19 lockdowns last year.

"There was really a delay in utilizing those funds and there there was also an aspect on self-learning modules, they said there was underdelivery in unutilized portions of the money given," he said.

"Parts of it weren't spent because there were differences in market prices...the suppliers gave a lower quote. The justification given by Deped to COA is definitely we will have control measures in place."

The agency is also looking into giving non-financial benefits to teachers versus salary increase, Poa said.

Watch more News on iWantTFC