By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
The Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday welcomed the additional allocation in its 2020 budget as announced by the Senate, noting that this funding will help ensure the continuity of its programs and projects.
DepEd Undersecretary for Finance Service and Education Programs Delivery Unit Annalyn Sevilla, in an interview on the sidelines of the First National Summit for Children’s Rights in Education (NSCREd), said that the department welcomes the additional budget approved by the Senate.
“We’re very happy, although we have yet to receive any official document, that DepEd will have an additional P6.5 billion,” Sevilla said. Of the amount, she noted that P4.5 billion will be for the restoration of the budget for the Senior High School Voucher Program (SHSVP) and P1.5 billion for the “Last Mile Schools” Program.
Initially, Sevilla said that DepEd was informed by the Senate that the agency is scheduled to attend a plenary hearing on November 19. “So we’re preparing for that but even before the plenary hearing, we already got the good news from Senator Sonny Angara who is leading the committee on finance,” she said.
DepEd, Sevilla said, is elated to hear that there will be additional budget in the 2020 national budget. “We really appreciate the recognition of the Senate in the importance of education – especially they focused on restoring the budget for the SHS Voucher Program and for the ‘Last Mile Schools’ Program,” she added.
The SHS VP is a financial assistance program wherein subsidies in the form of vouchers are provided to qualified SHS learners. The Qualified Voucher Applicants (QVA) will receive a subsidy on their tuition and other school fees, the amount of which will depend on the category of the QVA and the location of the school where the students will enroll in.
With this boost in funding, Sevilla expressed confidence that the SHS program will continue. “Our senior high school will be assured of the continuity of the program,” she said.