drastic cuts in proposed Duterte 2019 education budget
Alliance of Concerned
August 9, 2018
QUEZON CITY – The
Alliance of Concerned Teachers lambasted the hefty cuts in the
proposed education budget of the Department of Budget and Management
for 2019, saying that the Duterte regime’s purported prioritization
of human resource development is a “big farce,” as far as education
budget is concerned.
“The drastic cuts in the
proposed education budget for 2019 more accurately mean ‘human
resource destruction’ than development to teachers, students, and
the whole nation,” said Raymond Basilio, ACT Philippines
The DBM-proposed education
budget is 6.4% or P44.87 billion lower than the approved 2018 budget
for education. The Department of Education is about to suffer an
8.9% budget slash which is equivalent to P51.8 billion. It is in
fact 28% short of what the agency requested. Despite the enactment
of the Universal Access to tertiary Education Law, budget for State
Colleges and Universities will still be decreased by .07% or P45.95
Basilio expressed dismay
over DepEd Secretary Briones’ quick retraction of the criticism on
the looming budget cuts on the agency, saying that “DepEd exposes
itself as spineless in standing up for the interest of teachers and
the rest of the education sector.”
“The cuts spell further
hardships to education workers on pay and workload, worsening
shortages on facilities and materials, and greater inaccessibility
of education to Filipinos,” Basilio stated. Aside from President
Duterte’s salary increase promise being amiss in the budget,
personnel services allocation in the education sector will effect
cuts of P6.4B in personnel benefits and P19.8B decrease in
allocation for the creation of new teaching and non-teaching items.
The long overdue increase in the alloted special hardship allowance
proposed by the Department of Education was totally disregarded.
Funds for the implementation of medical treatment and annual health
examination of teachers guaranteed in the 1966 Magna Carta, as well
as budget for benefits under the collective negotiations agreements
were practically non-existent in the draft budget.
“It seems this government
is condemning education workers to slow death. While it wrings us of
indirect taxes under the TRAIN Law which will fund 39% of the 2019
budget, it deprives us of our legitimate and legal pay. It denies us
further of additional teaching and non-teaching personnel
much-needed to alleviate overwork which has caused the death of our
colleagues recently,” complained Basilio.
The proposed budget for
DepEd and SUCs reflect big slashes in the allocation for facilities
repair and replacement, procurement and computers, laboratory
equipment, textbooks and manuals, and construction of new buildings.
“The cuts are tantamount
to the further decline of quality and access to education. This is
destructive to the nation’s human resource, especially the next
generation. Mr. President, you always say that you cannot just watch
our youth being wasted on drugs, but by abandoning education, you
let them go to the dogs!” called out Basilio.
However, it is remarkable
how payment of vouchers to private schools remains to be included in
the top 10 items with the biggest allocation in the budget for
education, with a P5B increase for DepEd’s SHS Voucher Program to
private secondary schools.
“Instead of investing in
public schools which can accommodate large numbers of pupils for
years, it would rather hand out public funds to private businesses,”
The proposed budget will
effect as well an 84% decrease in budget for all state colleges and
“The Duterte government
now carries out the paralyzation and the eventual death of SUCs. It
only goes to show how insincere this regime is in implementing free
tertiary education,” Basilio concluded.