OVP’s 2023 budget also gets nod
THE House Committee on Appropriations on Wednesday expressed support for the 12 percent increase in the proposed 2023 budget of the Department of Education (DepEd) from P633 billion this year to P710 billion next year.
Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Z. Duterte thanked the officers and members of the committee who participated in the deliberations that resulted in the immediate endorsement of DepEd’s budget for plenary debates. Among them are committee chairman and Ako Bicol Party-list Representative Zaldy Co, Speaker Martin G. Romualdez, senior Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, senior Deputy Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Sandro Marcos, who attended the hearing for the proposed 2023 DepEd budget.
The Office of the Vice President (OVP), on the other hand, also received the House Committee on Appropriations support for the former’s proposed P2.31 billion budget for 2023.
“Bulk of the budget will go toward good governance projects and the social services. I speak for my colleagues when I say that this committee has full confidence in the VP’s performance of her duties,” Co said.
In less than 100 days, the OVP has launched its programs on burial assistance, medical assistance, and free bus rides called “Libreng Sakay”.
“Days from assuming office, the OVP has been very active. Within that short period, various satellite offices have been established all over the country, which enabled the government to expand the reach of its social services,” Co said.
“Indeed, the growing population and its growing demand for more government assistance call for such [a] proactive and ‘whole-of-government’ approach. The OVP is no longer just the passive office as originally envisioned, but by necessity, must actively engage with the people,” he added.
Co also congratulated the Vice President and the DepEd team for successfully resuming face-to-face classes after two years of online classes.
“So far, we have received positive feedback from the ground, and I hope it continues to be so for the sake of our students. We expected nothing less than this type of strong leadership from the VP,” the House appropriations committee head said.
“This is why we are confident that under your helm, DepEd will build upon the legacy of former President Rodrigo Duterte. Under the proposed budget, we will continue to allocate funding for the Basic Education Development Plan 2030, the alternative learning system, the Last Mile School, the Basic Education-Learning Continuity Plan, and other projects,” Co added, listing key DepEd programs.
Co said the pandemic has upended the educational system and needs to adapt and transform to thrive in the new normal.
“We must do more. We must help our students catch up after the 2-year pandemic. We must help our communities build better and more school facilities that are disaster-resilient, especially after the recent earthquake in Luzon. And we must show gratitude to our teachers by giving them adequate compensation at the very least,” he said.
The House appropriations committee head said the appointment of the Vice President to head the country’s biggest department is “inspiring”.
“I speak for everyone here when I say that you will succeed. The President could not have picked a more capable person for this tall order, and the DepEd surely feels proud to have you. As for Congress, you can always be assured of our support,” Co said.