DepEd defends confidential funds

The spokesperson of the Department of Education underscored the importance of providing confidential funds to further strengthen the agency’s mandate in protecting learners against all forms of abuse and criminal activities inside school premises.

DepEd spokesperson lawyer Michael Poa reiterated that national government agencies are allowed to have confidential funds based on the Department of Budget and Management joint circular 2015-01.

He said DepEd’s P150-million confidential fund for the fiscal year 2023 will be used for the protection of the learners.

“The past few weeks there are a lot of grooming sexual cases, a lot of sexual abuses, a lot of cases where learners and teachers are involved in illegal drugs, and a lot of cases of criminal activities in our schools,” Poa told reporters in an ambush interview.

“That is why these confidential funds are vital, so we could have a proper surveillance or intelligence to those who encourage our learners to commit criminal activities so that our program against these are target-specific,” the DepEd official added.

Poa stressed that the agency’s mandate is not just to provide quality basic education to Filipino learners but also to ensure their safety.

The DepEd official also clarified that there is no overlap in functions as the confidential fund is different from the intelligence fund being given to the military and police.

“There is no overlapping because, number one, that is actually the distinction between what we called intelligence funds and what we called confidential funds. The intelligence funds are being used by our agencies like the military or police. The confidential funds according to the DBM joint circular are being given to national government agencies for their respective mandate,” Poa said.

“On the part of the Department of Education, we have asked for confidential funds, which is not the same with intelligence funds, for the protection of our learners, which is part of the mandate of the agency,” he added.

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