Proposed DepEd budget to be submitted to plenary

Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 30 2022 01:00 AM

The Senate Committee on Finance has approved the budget proposals of the Department of Education and its attached agencies during the hearing of the Finance Committee Subcommittee “D” Thursday.

The Education Department put forward a P810 billion revised budget proposal, which would cover Personnel Services (P462,620,534,000.00), Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (P176,966,683,000.00) and Capital Outlay (P170,827,613,000.00) should this be approved.

This is higher than the 2023 National Expenditure Program or NEP (P66,252,738,000.00), with a difference of 17.8% or P144,162,092,000.00.

"Many programs have significant funding increases, most notably the school based feeding program with a 71.3 percent increase, new construction of classrooms at 85.9 percent, the Senior High School voucher program at 137.9 percent, restoration and preservation of Gabaldon with the biggest share of increase at 292 percent,” DepEd Undersecretary for Finance Annalyn Sevilla said.

This also translates to a decrease in allocation for other programs such as the Child Protection Program, the Computerization Program and the Last Mile School Program.

But Deped officials vow that it will do a lot of “catching up” by boosting new classroom construction, repairing and rehabilitation of damaged classrooms, and increasing hiring of personnel, among others.

"One of the major findings of sector analysis during the formulation of the basic education development plan was the education underspending of the government,” said Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte.

“The education 2013 framework for action proposed 2 benchmarks as crucial reference points: allocate at least four percent to 6% of GDP to education, and or allocate 15 to 20 percent of public expenditure to education if the government is capable of achieving higher budget prior to 2013 it would give DepEd extra muscle to achieve its targets,” Duterte added.

Duterte wanted to “accelerate the improvement of learning outcomes” especially in areas that need improvement such as mathematics and reading comprehension.

“I personally believe that if we successfully address the reading and comprehension issues, everything will follow. So we need to focus on formative years where rapid brain development happens. Proficiency of grade six learners, mathematical ability is very important, for if you want our graduates to be analytical and be able to make better decisions in career and life we cannot settle for the business as usual,” she added.

Despite some questions, members of the senate subcommittee expressed support for DepEd and its line agencies’ budget proposals.

"The budget of DepEd (and attached agencies) are all deemed submitted to the plenary, subject to our discussions and the submission of documents requested by the senators,” Senator Pia Cayetano, Chairperson of the Senate on Finance Subcommittee said.

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