DepEd releases P3.7B add’l funding to public schools for COVID-19 response

Published July 19, 2021, 5:25 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

To help strengthen measures in responding to the risks of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Department of Education (DepEd) has released additional Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) to all public schools across the country.

Photo taken in Latian Elementary School, Alabel, Sarangani in January 2021 (Photo from DepEd Tayo Sarangani Facebook page)

DepEd, in a statement issued Monday, July 19, said that the release of the additional funding is in line with its efforts to provide necessary support mechanisms to its personnel amid the ongoing public health situation.

“The pandemic is a continuous challenge in delivering quality education,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said. “We have to implement enabling fiscal policies to keep supporting our stakeholders in the field,” she added.

DepEd said that around P3.7 billion additional funding allocated for MOOE will be cascaded to 16 Regional Offices, 213 Division Offices, and 44,851 public schools nationwide.

“We have to fight for it and we have to be conscious all of the time because we know that we have that kind of a challenge at hand,” Briones said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Education set-up in the new normal

DepEd said that the additional funding will be allocated for reinforcement of new normal set-up and minimum health requirements implementation.

“Para po ito sa mga binibili nating supplies para po sa ating teaching and non-teaching personnel na pumapasok ay mayroon ding karagdagang proteksyon (This is for the supplies that we’re buying for our teaching and non-teaching personnel who go to schools, so they will have additional protection),” Undersecretary for Finance Annalyn Sevilla said.

“Kahit po wala ang mga bata at hindi sila pumasok sa eskwelahan ay gumagana at nagooperate pa rin po ang ating mga eskwelahan (Even without the children and they do not go to school, our schools still work and operate),” Sevilla explained.

DepEd said that in preparation for the next school year, the MOOE will “augment funding for the protection of teaching and non-teaching personnel against COVID-19 while in service.”

The additional MOOE is to support DepEd Memorandum No. 39, s. 2020 which authorizes the use of regular allocations for MOOE and local funds to implement measures in preparing and responding to the COVID-19 threats issued on March 12, 2020.

DepEd said that it also supports DepEd Order (DO) No. 11, s. 2020 or the Revised Guidelines on Alternative Work Arrangements in the Department of Education during the period of the state of national emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic issued on June 15, 2020.

The additional fund, DepEd said, will be allocated to strengthen DO No. 14, s 2020 or the guidelines to the required health standards in the basic education offices and schools issued on June 25, 2020.

“Kahit last year pa po itong mga issuances na ito ay nagbibigay pa rin tayo ng (even though these were issued last year, we still provide an) additional funding source for our schools so they can prepare especially for the coming school year 2021-2022,” Sevilla said.

DepEd, Sevilla added, has already released the MOOE to its field units “early June.” Thus, the agency is “looking forward to seeing this funding utilized.”