/ 20 September 2022

THE DEPARTMENT of Education said that it proposed a budget of P532 million for the VER for fiscal year 2023.

“Unfortunately, despite our earnest efforts to advocate for our learners with special needs, it was not considered in the National Expenditure Program. This is true for two other programs that were excluded from the NEP,” it said in a statement.

Despite the exclusion of SPED in the NEP, DepEd vowed to work with Congress to find ways to fund its programs.

“In the past years, DepEd has likewise made efforts within the organization to ensure that programs are supported,” it said.

Meanwhile, the DepEd also said that confidential expenses are allowed for all civilian offices.

“This has solid legal basis as provided under DBM Joint Circular 2015-01,” it said.

“The threats to the learning environment, safety, and security of DepEd personnel are interlocking with the mandate of support to the national security of civilian offices,” the agency added.

These threats, the agency said, are sexual abuse and all other forms of violence, graft, and corruption; involvement in illegal drugs of learners and personnel; recruitment to insurgency, terrorism, and violent extremism; child labor; child pornography; and recruitment to criminal activities, gangsterism, and financial and other scams.

“We hope that this will enlighten our stakeholders that DepEd does not only face problems with access, equity, and quality education but also has to contend with pressing issues on safety and security,” the agency said.