DepEd says voucher program payments 90% complete

Published July 14, 2020, 12:13 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Merlina Hernando-Malipot

The Department of Education (DepEd) assured its partner schools that it continues to monitor and process the payments for the Senior High School Voucher Program (SHSVP) amid the disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Undersecretary and Spokesperson Annalyn Sevilla, in an earlier press conference, said that the DepEd continues to process and monitor payments to private schools that implement the SHS Program despite the restrictions imposed during the Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and other community quarantines nationwide.

“Every week, we are monitoring this and less than 10% are being processed and the remaining 90% has been paid and remitted to our partner schools already,” Sevilla explained in a mix of English and Filipino.

Sevilla noted that while DepEd’s payables to the voucher program is 90% paid, the remaining 10% is still being processed because “that is a big amount of money.” The total voucher program, she explained, is currently at P32 billion.

Sevilla also noted that the cash requirement is also another factor that affects the voucher payments to partner schools. “With the collection of taxes moved, the cash positioning also moved and DepEd depends on this also,” she added.

Despite the challenges and limitations, Sevilla assured the SHSVP private schools that their payments will be processed. “

SHSVP partner schools, Sevilla said, have “nothing to worry” about because the 50% has been completely paid as well as the remaining 50% within the first semester of the last school year. “The pending (amount) right now is the remaining 50% and only about 10% of that is being processed,” she added.

Earlier, the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA), the largest umbrella organization of private schools in the country, appealed to DepEd to process the release of subsidies to learners and teachers.

COCOPEA Managing Director Atty. Joseph Noel Estrada said the private schools are appealing to the DepEd to “expedite the process of releasing various subsidies to students and teachers” such as the Education Service Contracting Program (ESC) and Teachers’ Salary Subsidy Program (TSS) under Republic Act (RA) 8545 or the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education Act and SHSVP under the RA 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013.

“These government subsidies will greatly help in sustaining the needed support of the school communities- students, teachers, and the institution, at this time of pandemic,” Estrada said.