Amid reports of schools and teachers asking for donations from the public, the Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday assured that funds are available to ensure the implementation of its Basic Education - Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP).
DepEd Undersecretary for Finance Annalyn Sevilla, during the “Handang Isip, Handa Bukas” virtual press briefing, explained that there are various funding sources for the printing or reproduction of modules for blended learning among other needs for the implementation of the BE-LCP.
“Our self-learning modules are funded under three modalities,” Sevilla said. Since July, she noted that a total of P9 billion realigned funds for BE-LCP has been downloaded to the Regional Offices and the Schools Division Offices (SDOs).
Sevilla added that schools can also use their Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) for the production, reproduction, and distribution of Self Learning Modules. “Many teachers are getting nervous because they fear that the MOOE might not be enough but we assure them that this is only the initial fund and now the P9 billion has been downloaded from the Central Office, ” she said in Filipino.
Another funding source, Sevilla explained, is the “alignment and partnership with local government units (LGUs) for the use of the corresponding Special Education Fund (SEF).”
Ahead of the school opening on Oct. 5, there is a growing number of schools and teachers who turn to the public’s support for school supplies and other requirements needed for the implementation of blended and distance learning.
Numerous social media posts show that many teachers are asking for donations specifically for bond paper supplies, printers, ink, and others materials.
Sevilla said that while teachers asking for donations is allowed especially under the “Brigada Eskwela,” those who do this should ensure that the policies in place are strictly complied with and observed.
“We receive reports that there are some teachers who ask for help for the printing of modules and others,” Sevilla said. “While this is allowed, we want to remind them that there should be transparency and accountability based on existing policies,” she added.
To ensure that the BE-LCP is funded, Sevilla said that DepEd reviewed and re-calibrated its funds. “In our original budget, there was no specific allotment for printing of modules but since we need to fund this, we realigned our funds,” she said.
Currently, Sevilla said that “all of the DepEd’s budget right is to support” the BE-LCP and the agency continues to come up with strategies to ensure that existing and emerging needs of schools will be addressed. “We will continue to realign and modify because we have continuing programs,” she said.
Sevilla noted that currently, the estimated amount to fund the BE-LCP is at P65 billion. “A total of P9 billion was already downloaded, P17 billion was realigned and modified, SEF was also aligned to LCP with a total of about P20 billion but we cannot account for all of this because the funds are in the LGUs and also Brigada Eskwela efforts are also in support of the LCP."