17 August 2017
Duterte budget slashes funds for school building
ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. France Castro revealed that the 2018 budget proposed by the Duterte administration slashed by P3.245 billion the school building programs of the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of Education.
The 2018 proposal sets P352 million for Construction/Repair/Rehabilitation/Improvement of School Buildings under the DPWH and P112.379 billion for the Basic Education Facilities Program under DepEd (P106.079 billion for construction, replacement, and completion of schools and classrooms and P6.3 billion for rehabilitation, renovation, and repair), or a total of only P112.731 billion.
These programs will suffer cuts of 71.6% for DPWH and 2.4% for DepEd from their current amounts. Under the 2017 General Appropriations Act, the DPWH has P1.239 billion while the DepEd has P114.737 billion (P109.313 billion for construction and P4.994 billion for rehabilitation, with additional P43 million for annual payments of school buildings constructed by the National Housing Authority). Total for the two agencies is P115.976 billion.
“Teachers and students in the field will profoundly feel the loss of this P3.245 billion worth of schools and classrooms. It will mean more congested rooms, more students pushed to hold classes in makeshift spaces even under trees,” lamented Castro. “We have said all along that government has failed, and continues to fail, to sufficiently provide for the requirements of K to 12 including schools and classrooms, especially for Grades 11 and 12.”
“The proposed budget sets P1.097 trillion for the Build, Build, Build program for roads and other infrastructure for BPOs, ecozones, tourist spots, and airports but there’s this fund slash for school and classroom building. President Duterte is drumbeating his ‘golden age of infrastructure’ but with this budget cut, it appears that school building figures very little in his grand plans and that education is taking a backseat,” ended Castro. “May golden age nga para sa mga dayuhan at lokal na kapitalistang mamumuhunan sa infrastructure pero mangangalawang naman ang sektor ng edukasyon.” ###