PASIG CITY, August 15, 2017 – Bolstering its commitment to provide quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all, the Department of Education (DepEd) is dedicating its proposed 2018 budget to ensuring that education will continue in an environment that is inclusive and nurturing for learners, teachers, and personnel.
“Education must continue in an inclusive and nurturing environment. Amid and despite circumstances that render this impossible, we must be able to deliver quality education, especially when confronted with natural calamities or man-made disasters,” Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones pointed out.
Currently, DepEd serves around 27 million learners and anticipates almost 1.3 million Senior High School (SHS) completers by the end of school year (SY) 2017-2018.
With a sustained growth in the national budget, from the approved P567.1 billion in 2017 to the proposed P612.12 billion National Expenditure Program (NEP)in 2018 (with Retirement and Life Insurance Premiums or RLIP), the Department is gearing toward the achievement of Pagbabago or inequality-reducing transformation under the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) Targets for basic education.
The major drivers of the proposed 2018 budget include the expansion of coverage of inclusive education programs and strengthening of partnerships and linkages; improvement of basic input rations, especially for Kindergarten to Grade 3; provision of basic resources to support the curriculum needs; and support the internal processes brought about by the Rationalization Plan and alignment to the administration’s agenda.
The recommended funding will continue to provide basic education resources to support the K to 12 Program, allocating 81,100 total teacher items; 38.9 million total learning materials; construction of 46,998 new classrooms; 81,201 sets of school seats; electrification of 2,398 on-grid schools; construction of 24,076 workshops and laboratories; 22,046 ICT packages; 1,365 schools to receive Tech-Voc tools and equipment; 3,183 sets of Science and Math equipment packages; 2.5 million learner-beneficiaries of the school-based feeding program.
In promoting the complementarity of public and private schools and learning centers, the proposed budget is set to benefit 1,077,230 learners and 35,945 teachers under the Education Service Contracting (ESC); 78,250 students under the Voucher Program for Non-DepEd Public SHS and SUC/LUC; 1,577,722 students under the Voucher Program for Private SHS; and 115,996 students under the Joint Delivery Voucher for SHS.
The proposed budget will also raise the standard of the Department’s personnel welfare and professional development with the provision for Special Hardship Allowance; Magna Carta for Public Health Workers; honoraria for teaching overload; salaries of substitute teachers and other non-permanent positions; provision for retirement and terminal leave benefits of mandatory retirees; and human resources training and development.
“The tremendous work continues, and so must our fiscal discipline and reforms. With stakeholders, partners, and the community, we seek to ensure that quality education relevant to the goals of national development will reach all learners, will enable them to continue life in the face of uncertainty, and will equip them for further education and better opportunities,” Briones emphasized.