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Proposed 2024 national budget allocates P924.7 billion to education sector

(File Photo)

QUEZON CITY, (PIA) – Sixteen (16) percent of the proposed 2024 National Expenditure Program (NEP) has been allocated to the education sector which is equivalent to P924.7 billion, 3.3 percent higher than the previous fiscal year. 

The Department of Education (DepEd) got P758.6 billion while P31.0 billion goes tothe Commission on Higher Education (CHED), P15.2 billion for the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and P105.6 billion for the 116 State Universities and Colleges (SUCS). 

DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman highlighted that higher provisions were made for subsidies, training programs, as well as learning infrastructure and resources following not only the mandate of the constitution but also the current administration’s top priority given to learning recovery initiatives. 

“Echoing the pronouncement of our President, alongside the strengthening of our economy, we will also invest heavily in human capital development through education, health, and social protection,” said Secretary Pangandaman. 

In particular, the subsidies entail a P51.1 billion budget allocation for the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education (UAQTE) Program and P41.0 billion for the provision of education assistance. Of which, P39.3 billion is intended for the DepEd’s Education Service Contracting, Junior High School (JHS) and Senior High School (SHS) Voucher Program, and Joint Delivery Voucher Program for SHS Technical Vocational Livelihood Specialization. 

Meanwhile, the CHED’s Student Financial Assistance Program has a budget allotment of P1.5 billion while the TESDA’s Private Education Student Financial Assistance Program will have P200 million. 

On the other hand, P632 million has been allotted for the Alternative Learning System (ALS) to aid in the education, employment, and entrepreneurship programs intended for out-of-school youth aged 15 years old and above who lack access to formal education. 

Through the P33.8 billion budget allocation to the Basic Education Facilities (BEF) Program, the construction and rehabilitation of learning infrastructure will also be implemented. These include the establishment of 7,879 classrooms and technical vocational laboratories, renovation of 10,050 classrooms, procurement of 21,557 sets of school desks, furnitures, and fixtures, electrification of 432 classrooms, as well as the construction of 333 school health facilities, 3 medium-rise buildings, 72 library hubs, 16 Inclusive Learning Resource Centers (ILRCs), and 4 Community Learning Centers (CLCs). 

These add to the infrastructure projects of State Universities and Colleges which will receive P3.4 billion budget allotment. 

Further, P12.0 billion has been allocated for the production of relevant learning materials such as textbooks and instructional kits that are aligned with the new curriculum for Kinder and Grades 1, 4, and 7. A funding worth P3.9 billion is likewise set for the procurement of other necessary learning tools and equipment. 

The DepEd Computerization Program will also be supported with an P8.9 billion funding, particularly in terms of the procurement of eLearning cart packages, laptops for teaching and non-teaching personnel, and other ICT equipment for the establishment of the MATATAG Center in 2024.

To cater to the nutrition needs of student learners, the DBM has further allocated P11.71 billion for the implementation of the School-Based Feeding Program. 

The budget department likewise recognized the importance of improving the access of Filipino youth to skills training in accredited institutions to enhance their employability.

In this regard, the Government Internship Program was allocated with P808 million, Special Program for Employment of Students with P829 million, and the JobStart Philippines Program with P205 million. 

To keep pace with the digitalization, P1.8 billion was allocated for the modernization of the country’s technical and vocational education and training system under TESDA. 

P3.2 billion was also allotted to TESDA’s Training for Work Scholarship Program, P1.3 billion to Special Training for Employment Program, and P1.0 billion to Tulong Trabaho Scholarship Program.

The DBM already submitted the 2024 NEP to the House of Representatives for deliberation last Friday, August 2, following its approval by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (DBM/PIA-NCR) 

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Janna Marie Pineda

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