Oliver Bugarin 5 0 0 5 min to read

Budget lines might be moved to support the SPED program: DBM

Because some budget items may still need to be “realigned” and “adjusted” to make room for it, the Department of Education’s (DepEd) planned PHP852.8 billion budget does not include financing for its Special Education (SPED) program.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) provided this comment in response to criticism of the lack of financing for the educational requirements of children with special needs.

The DepEd previously emphasized that despite its “earnest efforts” to advocate for students with special needs, its original budget proposal for its SPED program of PHP532 million was “not considered in the National Expenditure Plan.”

The DepEd said in a statement that “this is a recurring situation every year, and the DepEd is not at a loss because we always work with members of the Congress to fund different methods to fund DepEd initiatives.”

The DBM, who is in charge of creating the NEP, acknowledged that the DepEd’s initial plan was correct but pointed out insufficient support for funding the SPED program.

In a separate statement, the DBM stated that while the Department of Education had suggested keeping the line item for the purpose under the FY [fiscal year] 2023 National Expenditure Program, “no sufficient documentation was provided to support the same, such as details of the proposed amount with specific purposes, the basis of computations/parameters, the status of the ongoing conversion, and establishment of Inclusive Learning Resource Centers funded under FY 2021 and FY 2022 GAA,”

According to the DBM, as of June 30, 2022, the SPED program’s commitment rate under the FY 2022 General Appropriations Act is 1.13 percent or only PHP6.35 million out of the allocated PHP560.202 million.

This funding clause will remain in effect until December 31, 2023, according to the DBM.

According to the department, programs that require additional financing may still be realigned and amended by the DepEd.

The implementing agency may realign and modify items during budget execution “to suit the requirements of any program that is in severe need of additional funding,” the agency warned.

According to the DBM, there is over PHP1.216 billion in excess funds for the DepEd’s Programs, Activities, Projects (PAP) – Operations of Schools – Elementary and Junior High Schools (JHS) (MOOE).

The DBM said, “We decided that the program assistance or additional funding for the successful implementation of the SPED may already be accommodated within the same program and that a separate budget for the purpose may no longer be necessary.”

The DBM affirmed that it accords “primacy” to the importance of providing special needs Filipino children with an education.

“We place the utmost significance on ensuring that they have access to high-quality education so that their special needs are properly met. We think that by meeting their needs, we are promoting our kids’ overall development, the organization added.

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