SENATORS were urged to restore nearly P10 billion in cuts in the 2022 budget of the Department of Education and its attached agencies, ahead of deliberations in the chamber.
In making the call, former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. pointed out that education is a continuing public expenditure that naturally grows proportionately with the burgeoning population.
“Therefore, budgetary allocation for public schools and related facilities, and new alternative learning systems and platforms on account of the pandemic, academic and support personnel compensation, scholarship and related academic entitlements and continuing education for teachers should be spared from budgetary cuts,” he stressed.
The former senator explained: “This is the only way Philippine education can keep up with international standards and make Filipino graduates globally competitive.”
Marcos stressed that education is crucial to the country’s development and Congress should exercise its power of the purse to ensure that budgetary constraints would not hamper the concerned agencies from carrying out their functions properly.
“How can our country progress if education remains in dire straits because the institutions in charge cannot operate well for lack of budget?” Marcos asked aloud in a statement at the weekend.
Marcos was reacting to reports that the Department of Budget and Management slashed the budget of the DepEd and its attached agencies in the National Expenditure Program submitted to Congress.
The Commission on Higher Education sought P62.3 billion for 2022, but it was reduced to only P52.6 billion on the recommendation of the DBM, or a reduction of P9.6 billion.