EDITORIAL - Such a pity

The Freeman
EDITORIAL - Such a pity

It seems that the confidential funds for the Department of Education are back to P150 million. It had been reduced to P30 million during an earlier session by the Senate but was restored to the original amount in the bicameral conference committee’s version of the proposed 2023 budget.

"That’s the decision of the House leadership to restore the funds because it’s difficult if young people are recruited to take the wrong path," Rep. Elizaldy Co of Ako Bicol Partylist Co was quoted as saying in a Philstar.com report.

Going on the above statement of Co, he seems to imply that the funds will be used to prevent students from being recruited by subversive movements and eventually taking up arms against the government.

There is no doubt that that is good; we should keep children away from the influences of groups that seek to bring down our democracy. But again, this responsibility is outside the purview of the Department of Education, which should only concern itself in matter of education and not security.

It’s such a pity that until now our lawmakers don’t seem to understand the purpose of a confidential fund.

Confidential funds can only be used by civilian government agencies for activities related to surveillance, while intelligence funds are for expenses related to gathering information by uniformed and military personnel and intelligence operatives in the interest of national security.

If anything, lawmakers seems to be encouraging Vice President Sara Carpio to deviate from her role as Education secretary.

Her suitability for the position is already suspect. Just look at what she did recently. She is pushing for a toothbrush drill for students to be included in the curriculum. How is that supposed to improve education?

Now lawmakers are allowing her to play cloak-and-dagger by giving her access to funds she should not have as Education secretary.

The quality of education in the Philippines is quickly becoming one of the worst in the world. We only need to look at results of recent international tests to see this. It’s sad that some of our lawmakers aren’t helping the situation at all and may even be worsening it.

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