Senators vow to raise 2019 DepEd budget for classrooms

Senators vow to raise 2019 DepEd budget for classrooms

The Department of Education (DepEd) bore a slashing of about P100-billion on its appropriation for the building of classrooms in its proposed 2019 budget.

Based on their presentation of their proposed 2019 budget before the Senate Subcommittee on Finance, the agency said they initially asked the DBM for a P130-billion budget for the construction of 44,000 classrooms lacking in the country. The DBM, however, granted only P34.6 billion based on the DepEd’s implementation of its classroom construction program this year. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), which was tasked to construct the classrooms, had completed some 82,000 classrooms under its current budget, which is is only seven percent of the agency’s target for this year.

DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said the amount could only construct 4,110 classrooms, which is below the minimum annual additional classroom requirement of 10,000. Briones added that the DepEd also need to fund the renovation of school buildings damaged by typhoons.

Senator Loren Legarda, chairwoman of the Senate finance committee, said she will work on increasing the DepEd’s 2019 budget by P50 billion. Sen. Bam Aquino, committee vice chair, and Sens. Riza Hontiveros and Sherwin Gatchalian also assured to push in the Senate the increase of the DepEd fund.