/ 16 November 2020

AKO Bicol Party-list Representatives Alfredo Garbin Jr. and Elizaldy Co want private schools included in the Special Education Fund.

They filed House Bill 1539 to amend some provisions of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991.

“Under the law, the SEF or the proceeds from one percent additional tax on real property is automatically released to local school boards to be utilized in sustaining operation and maintenance, construction and repair of school buildings, facilities and equipment, educational research, purchase of books and periodicals, and sports development as determined and approved by the Local School Board,” Garbin and Co said in their explanatory note.

The two lawmakers said that it is the mandate of the State to provide quality education to all students, regardless of their social or economic status. They said the government must give equal opportunities to public and private schools.

The lawmakers said many teachers in public schools transferred to public institutions for better pay, reducing private schools “as training grounds for teachers who want to gain experience.”

They added that private schools were forced to increase tuition to provide attractive salaries for teachers.

Garbin and Co said that public schools enjoy support from Local Government Units while private schools were left to fend for themselves.

“Students in private schools should also benefit from the SEF because their parents are also taxpayers from whom the LGU source the said special education fund,” they said.