A progressive party-list solon is pushing for the restoration of the deleted budget of the Department of Education.
ACT Teacher Rep. France Castro filed amendments to House Bill 7277 or the 2021 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) restoring theP9.66 billion cuts from the agency’s budget.
These cuts include: P9.3 million for Management and Administration of Learning Resources; P256 million for Disaster Preparedness and Response Program; P3.8 million for National Literacy Policies and Programs; P5 million Basic Education Curriculum; P19.5 million for Early Language Literacy and Numeracy; P5.3 million for Basic Education Facilities; P616,035,000 for Conservation and restoration of Gabaldon and other heritage school buildings; P100 million Quick Response Fund; P61.1 for Indigenous People’s Education program; P500 million for School-Based Feeding Program; P184.9 for Implementation of the Grant of Cash Allowance, Hardship Pay, Equivalent Record Form (ERF), Conversion to Master Teacher (MT) and Reclassification of Positions; P104 million for Human Resource Development for Personnel in Schools and Learning Centers; and P8.6 million for Teacher Quality and Development Program.
“It is high time that we prioritize education to ensure the learning continuity amid the COVID-19 pandemic. How come that the education sector received only a meager increase and that most of the vital and critical items received cuts and in worst cases, some of them were removed in the proposed 2021 budget when in fact the slashed budget will be (hardly) enough to ensure the delivery of safe, equitable and quality education,” Castro said.
According to Castro teachers have adapted to this so-called “new normal” and have suffered enough, some of them have even contacted the coronavirus from delivering the modules.
Castro pointed out that these funds can be restored if the P16.4 billion allocation for the NTF-ELCAC is omitted from the 2021 national budget..
“We urge the Lower House to restore these slashed and removed items in the 2021 proposed budget. We’ve seen how this pandemic surfaced the shortages and problems in education, health, aid and all other social services, this is the time that we address the demands of the Filipino people,” Castro said.