/ 1 September 2021

THE MAKABAYAN bloc in the House of Representatives filed a resolution urging the Committee on Public Accounts and Committee on Basic Education and Culture to investigate the alleged lapses of the Department of Education in the utilization of funds for the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan.

House Resolution 2182 was filed by ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro, Gabriela Partylist Rep. Arlene Brosas, Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Jane Elago and Bayan Muna Partylist Reps. Carlos Isagani Zarate, Ferdinand Gaite and Eufemia Cullamat.

The lawmakers cited the Commission on Audit’s report on the DepEd budget for fiscal year 2020. COA found numerous lapses in the utilization of DepEd’s Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan under the Bayanihan 1 and 2 amounting to P3.22 billion.

“The AAR revealed many negative audit observations on how the DepEd implements its programs and activities using its 2020 budget, both from General Appropriations Act of 2020, Republic Act 11469 or Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, and Republic Act 11494 or Bayanihan to Recover as One Act,” the lawmakers said in their resolution.

The compliance audit covered pooled savings and appropriations amounting to P16.105 billion.

The resolution also noted that COA has also caught lapses and irregularities in transactions amounting to more than P4 billion in Bayanihan funds.

“These observations brought to light in the 2020 AAR are additional proof that public education and its teachers and personnel are being undersupported despite being overworked,” they said in the resolution.

“They also show that the main agency mandated to see to it that free and quality education continues to be assured to millions of Filipino children despite the pandemic appears to have a minimal sense of urgency at a time of crisis and emergency,” they added.