MANILA -- With a lower budget for its projects and programs next year, the Department of Education (DepEd) will be making the necessary adjustments to ensure the programs continuous implementation, an official said Wednesday.
In a press briefing at the DepEd central office in Pasig City, Education Undersecretary for Finance Budget and Monitoring Annalyn Sevilla said they acknowledge that there is a big difference between the 2018 and 2019 budget which prompted them to do some changes.
“We will adjust because we understand that this is a transition year from the commitments’ computation to the actual cash payment. Join us in explaining to the public, students, teachers not to worry because the given budget for 2019 will be enough for 2019,” she said.
Sevilla said the decrease in the budget is expected because 2019 is under the annual cash-based appropriations.
“Cash-based is the new budget approach or item which will be used now, this means the money or appropriation we will request would be enough for projects and programs that will finish, deliver and be paid in 2019. Anything that will not be delivered in 2019 will not be included,” she said.
There are four programs with higher allocations next year compared to this year. These include the operation of schools, voucher program for SHS, voucher program for non-DepEd public schools, and repair and rehabilitation of school building and classrooms.
Of the four programs, the voucher program for non-DepEd public schools got the highest increase at 106.4 percent from PHP742,454 in 2018 to PHP1,532,623 next year. It is followed by a 54.4 percent increase for the repair and rehabilitation of school building and classrooms from PHP6.8 million to PHP10.5 million next year.
Meanwhile, the 2019 budget for other programs have decreased based on the final national expenditure program.
These include programs for indigenous peoples’ education, development and promotion of campus journalism, physical fitness and school sports, national assessment for basic education, DepEd computerization program, learning tools and equipment, basic education facilities, Madrasah education program, flexible learning options and school-based feeding program.
The Department of Budge and Management has allocated PHP2.281 million for the dental facilities in central public schools under the DepEd's School Dental Health Care Program.
Sevilla added the transition to cash-based method is true for other government agencies.
“Eventually the Congress will pass the budget for what is needed only. This will add pressure to our suppliers, contractors who will be our partners in the delivery of our programs because if they’re unable to deliver within 2019, what’s written in the contract will lapse and will be given to the next budget,” she said.
She said DepEd's budget for next year is PHP527.714 billion or 8.92 percent lower than the PHP579.419 billion budget in 2018.
Sevilla said education has the highest budget compared to all other sectors for the next fiscal year with PHP659.3 billion cash-based appropriation. (PNA)