DepEd says it has no budget for treatment of virus-hit personnel

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 10 2020 07:43 PM

MANILA — The Department of Education said Monday it does not have available funding to cover the hospitalization and treatment of its personnel infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

But DepEd officials have made voluntary contributions for an "internal budget" used to give assistance to personnel, including public school teachers, who have contracted the respiratory illness, said Education Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla.

"For those employees who opted to be treated in private hospitals, they also got assistance from DepEd, but not from the [government] funds but from the personal contributions and collective efforts of the DepEd family," Sevilla said.

Sevilla explained there is no funding for COVID-19 medication and treatment under the Budget Law.

"What has been allowed to be charged to DepEd funds are the supplies needed for the compliance with the minimum health standards," she said.

The DepEd has also partnered with the Department of Health and local government units for a referral system and contact tracing in case a personnel is infected with COVID-19.

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Education Undersecretary Jesus Mateo earlier said DepEd personnel with COVID-19 may avail of PhilHealth benefits.

Mateo added that teachers are not required to distribute learning materials to learners at home if they fear that they may get the virus.

The DepEd was not immediately able to provide figures on the number of personnel that have tested positive for COVID-19.

Across the country, nearly 130,000 people have so far been confirmed to have contracted the disease, as of Sunday, of whom, almost 60,000 are considered active cases.

-- With a report from Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News