DepEd gets P20 billion budget hike
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - January 9, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) will receive over P521 billion in its budget this year, more than P20 billion higher than last year’s appropriations.

While the full copy of the General Appropriations Act (GAA) has yet to be released, Education Undersecretary for Finance Annalyn Sevilla confirmed that DepEd – including its attached agencies – will have a total budget of P521.351 billion this year.

This is four percent higher than the P501.116 budget allocated last year for DepEd and its attached agencies.

In a statement, the DepEd lauded President Duterte and the members of the Senate and House of Representatives for the approval of the 2020 GAA.

The agency said it has received significant increases in funding for the senior high school voucher program, last mile schools and the human resource development for personnel in schools and learning centers.

It also noted a decrease in funding for the Basic Education Facilities (BEF) program, particularly for the construction of new school buildings.

“(This) is a huge challenge to the department as it will adversely affect the programming of a lower classroom to students ratio for the coming school years,” it said of the decrease.

“The department also welcomes the inclusion of the salary increase for teaching and non-teaching employees of the department effective January 2020. This is an added motivation for almost a million personnel of the department,” it added.

Specific details of the approved budget for DepEd have yet to be released.

Based on the proposed 2020 budget submitted to Congress, the government sought over P36 billion for the BEF; P31.18 billion for government assistance and subsidies; and P1.5 million for the last mile schools program, which seeks to improve those that fail to meet the basic criteria set for learning institutions in the Philippines.

A summary of the approved budget released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) showed that among those approved were the same amount proposed for BEF and the government assistance and subsidies, which covers the senior high school voucher program.

Last year, the government allotted P30.973 billion for BEF and P32.121 billion for government assistance and subsidies.

The education sector has received the biggest chunk of the P4.1-trillion budget this year, amounting to a total P692.6 billion, according to the BDM.

This includes the budget for DepEd, the Commission on Higher Education, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and the over 100 state universities and colleges across the country.

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