Adequate funding eyed for SPED program sought
Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) - February 20, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian has underscored the need for adequate and dedicated funding to address current gaps in the program, including the shortage of teachers, though the Department of Education (DepEd)’s Special Education (SPED) program received a budget allocation for the first time under its current administration.

Gatchalain hopes to secure dedicated funding for SPED through Senate Bill 171 or the Inclusive Education for Children and Youth with Special Needs Act.

The proposed measure seeks to establish Inclusive Education Learning Resource Centers in all divisions of public schools nationwide.

The bill also mandates the DepEd to have a separate line item for learners with special needs.

“If we can give quality education to these youth with special needs, we can upskill them so they can contribute to society. We cannot do this if we lack funding for the support of the students and teachers of SPED,” Gatchalian said.

Citing estimates from the Philippine Health Insurance Corp., a 2018 report from the United Nations’ Children’s Fund revealed that one out of seven, or around 5.1 million children, are living with disabilities.

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