DepEd appeals DBM’s 2023 budget slash

The Department of Education (DepEd) said Thursday it will ask the Department of Budget Management (DBM) not to pare down to P701 billion its proposed budget of P848 billion for 2023.

DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa said the department headed by Vice President Sara Duterte needs its proposed budget intact to oversee the safe return of students to in-person classes after two years of online schooling due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We’re standing firm on our budget proposal because we need that. So we’re making our arguments in the Congress when the time comes,” Poa said.

“But we’re also appealing to the DBM to allow us to have the entire P848 billion,” he added during a joint press briefing held by DepEd and the OVP.

Poa said that on top of the P848 billion, the DepEd also requested an additional P16 billion to bankroll the repairs and construction of classrooms. For classrooms damaged by the recent earthquake, a further P2.1 billion is needed for repairs, he said.

The DepEd said at least 427 schools sustained damage from the magnitude 7 earthquake that hit Northern Luzon last week. Classes in quake-hit areas would still push through on 22 August, with DepEd planning to look into providing temporary learning spaces, Poa added.

DepEd’s P848 billion proposed budget was P217 billion more than its P631.77 billion budget for 2022.

The education department also plans to hire more non-teaching personnel to enable teachers to focus on teaching instead of doing administrative tasks.

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