VP Sara wants add’l budget for DEPED

September 14, 2022 Jester P. Manalastas 1372 views

VICE President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte asked for an additional budget, not just from the Congress but also from President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., in a bid to solve problems in basic education within six years.

According to Duterte, the DEPED proposed P810 billion but the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) only granted P666.25 billion.

Duterte led rge DEPED officials in defending its budget proposal in the deliberation by the House Committee on Appropriations.

“If the DEPED is given the budget that it is requesting, we will be able to open more programs to address the learning problems of our students. So initially po, lumapit na kami kay Pangulong Marcos at sinabihan ko po ang Pangulo na kung maibibigay ang P100 billion na dagdag, we can solve all the problems of basic education,” Duterte told the members of the committee.

Speaker Martin Romualdez and other top leaders of the House of Representatives were among the audience of Duterte in her presentation.

The Vice President said she planned to open more programs and innovations to address these learning problems.

“Let’s get out of the box. Alam naman nating hindi lang natututo ang mga estudyante sa loob ng classrooms, ,marami sa mga experience. Kaya I think we should look for innovations para hindi lang lack of classrooms ang magiging issue sa susunod na anim na taon ng bagong administrasyon,” she stressed.

Meanwhile, the Vice President defended the department’s confidential funds amounting to P150 million.

Responding to Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas question on confidential funds, Duterte said this amount is meant to address illegal activities targeting students perpetrated by terrorists, criminals and communists.

She stressed that the confidential fund would be used for many issues faced by the department including “sexual grooming, active shooter copycats, insurgency recruitment of children and drug involvement of learners.”

“The success of projects, activities and programs depend upon very good surveillance and intelligence,” said Duterte, adding that it would be difficult to come up with solutions without credible intelligence information.

“All these relate to our mandate that we deliver quality basic education to our learners and of course education of our children relates to our national security as well,” she added.

Brosas asked Duterte why she proposed confidential funds for the OVP and DEPED when they were not included in the 2021 and 2022 budgets.

Duterte said the OVP and DEPED are two separate entities with different mandates as well.

“As explained earlier, the success of project activity or program really depends upon very good intelligence and surveillance. Basic education has a direct link to the national security of our country. We are truly interested in the quality of education of our learners,” she stressed.

The House Committee on Appropriations terminated the DEPED budget briefing after Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez moved to bring it to the plenary for approval.