“The police and military were first to get salary increases, while teachers are forced to make-do with their meager salaries.”
By ADAM ANG
MANILA — A multi-stakeholder group has suggested raising the fund portion for the education sector under the proposed Bayanihan to Arise as One Act or Bayanihan 3.
Based on the latest draft of House Bill No. 8628, P5.6 billion or around $117 million was set aside to assist the Department of Education (DepEd) in implementing digital education and alternative learning programs.
The Movement for Safe, Equitable, Quality, and Relevant Education (Sequre) described the amount as “meager.” According to Benjamin Valbuena, one of the group’s lead convenors, the share is “hardly enough to fund distance learning and prepare for face-to-face classes.”
Valbuena went on to compare the amount against the proposed P54.6 billion for paying the pension arrears of retired police, military and other uniformed personnel.
“The police and military were first to get salary increases, while teachers are forced to make-do with their meager salaries,” he complained.
So the group, which consists of education experts, teachers, parents and students, proposed to lawmakers its own outline of budgetary requirements with a total consideration of P120.38 billion ($2.5 billion) for the safe delivery of education during the pandemic.
Here’s the breakdown of Sequre’s education budget proposal:
“More than one year into the pandemic and the education only worsens as distance learning problems remain ignored and unresolved,” Valbuena said.
“We urge the government to finally take sufficient and necessary actions to respond to the needs of the education sector to ensure the youth’s enjoyment of their inviolable right to education,” he said.
On Monday, the House of Representatives resumed its regular session discussing priority measures, including the third stimulus package and charter change.
Earlier in the month, the joint House committees on economic affairs and social services approved the P405.6-billion Bayanihan 3, which also apportions a total of P216 billion or equal to two rounds of P1,000 cash subsidy to each Filipino.