DEPED BUDGET SHOULD PRIORITIZE SAFE SCHOOL REOPENING, SAYS SENATOR
SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian on Monday said the 2022 budget of the Department of Education should be used for the safe reopening of schools.
Under the 2022 National Expenditure Program, DepEd and its attached agencies were allotted P630.8 billion.
Gatchalian, however, pointed out that P15 billion was allotted to Flexible Learning Options which includes the use of television, radio, modules and other modes of learning that do not require close contact between teachers and learners.
The bulk of the budget will be used to print self-learning modules.
“Of course, we all want to go back to face-to-face classes, but it seems to me that it’s not reflected in the 2022 budget,” Gatchalian said.
“Ang pondo para sa edukasyon sa susunod na taon ay dapat nakatuon sa pagbangon ng sektor mula sa epekto ng pandemya. At habang unti-unti nating binubuksan ang mga paaralan, kailangang pinaghahandaan na rin natin ang mas ligtas na pagbubukas ng mga ito para sa kapakanan ng mga mag-aaral at mga guro,” he added.
Under the P5.4 billion budget for Basic Education Facilities, DepEd only allotted P358 million for school health facilities.
This is for the construction, replacement, repair and rehabilitation of water systems, handwashing facilities, toilet facilities, and other health and sanitation-related facilities.
Gatchalian said he will propose amendments to DepEd’s 2022 budget to align it with the new normal.