PASIG CITY, August 8, 2018 – The Department of Education (DepEd) significantly improved its budget utilization and its delivery of education services and resources in the past year as it continues to provide better access to quality basic education to more Filipino learners.
“Our continued investments in basic education, including the sustained implementation of the K to 12 Basic Education Program, also contributed to the interest of more learners to continue being in school, to pursue learning, and to persist in attaining goals for themselves and for the country,” Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones stated.
A three-year period analysis of DepEd’s budget utilization yielded a steady improvement from 88% in 2015, 90% in 2016, to 97% in 2017.
With the education sector still enjoying the national budget’s lion’s share in 2019, DepEd remains committed to promoting and providing quality and relevant basic education that is accessible to all.
Accomplishments in the past years
In 2017, DepEd served a total of 26.9 million learners: 26.3 million learners enrolled in public and private schools, and 641,584 learners under the Alternative Learning System (ALS) – surpassing the target enrolment for Kindergarten, elementary, and secondary education.
Participation Rate in 2017 for Kindergarten increased from 65% (2016) to 84% (2017); and for Junior High School from 74% (2016) to 76% (2017). Furthermore, Transition Rate from Grade 10 to Grade 11 reached 93.3% compared to the Transition Rate from 4th year high school to college at less than 50% prior to the implementation of Senior High School (SHS).
By making the learning environment more conducive and modern, crucial basic education facilities and resources are improved: From July 2016 to June 2018, 22,133 classrooms and 1,309 Technical-Vocational (Tech-Voc) laboratories were constructed; and 82,725 sets of schools seats (one set includes 45 seats, one teacher’s chair and table) were delivered. As of end of December 2017, 68.6 million textbooks and instructional materials were printed and delivered to schools nationwide.
These, in turn, contributed to the improved basic ratios: Teacher-to-learner ratio from 1:32 (2016) to 1:31 (2017) for elementary and from 1:26 (2016) to 1:25 (2017) for secondary; Classroom-to-learner ratio from 1:35 (2016) to 1:33 (2017) for elementary and from 1:43 (2016) to 1:36 (2017) for secondary.
For school year 2017-2018, 977,318 junior high school grantees and around 1.29 million SHS grantees were able to enrol in private schools through the Education Service Contracting (ESC) and the SHS Voucher Program, respectively.
The end of the school year also saw more than 1.2 million learners, the first batch of SHS, graduate. Those who chose to seek employment following graduation gained better prospects compared with the previous graduates of high school due to work immersion – a key element of the K to 12 curriculum, while those who took the Tech-Voc Livelihood track and acquired national certification from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) have better employment opportunities.
2019 NEP-Level vs. Proposed Budget
Education remains the topmost priority of the Duterte administration, receiving the highest allocation in the proposed 2019 national budget. For fiscal year (FY) 2019, the National Expenditure Program (NEP) level for DepEd (OSEC including Retirement and Life Insurance Premium, or RLIP) amounts to P527.714 billion, or 72.06 % of the proposed DepEd budget of P732.280 billion.
Figure 1. DepEd FY 2019 Budget by Expense Class
The 2019 NEP-level for DepEd amounting to P527.714 billion is 8.92% lower than the 2018 DepEd GAA of P579.419 billion.
The lower DepEd budget for 2019 is consistent with the lower total proposed National Budget of P3.757 trillion. The 2019 NEP is 0.27%, or P10 billion lower compared to the 2018 GAA of P3.767 trillion.
This is expected since the FY 2019 budget is under the annual cash-based appropriations (ACBA). The obligations that will be incurred for the year and the associated disbursements that will be made will be limited to the goods delivered and services rendered, accepted and paid within the fiscal year.
Programs-wise, the following were given higher allocations for 2019 compared to their 2018 budgets:
(in thousand pesos)
(in thousand pesos)
|Operation of Schools||305,016,784||346,235,949||13.5|
|Voucher Program for SHS||13,692,180||18,755,048||37.0|
|Voucher Program for Non-DepEd Public Schools||742,454||1,532,623||106.4|
|Repair and Rehabilitation of School Building/Classrooms||6,800,000||10,500,000||54.4|
On the other hand, the budget for the following programs decreased based on the final NEP:
|Programs||2018 GAA||2019 NEP||%|
|Indigenous Peoples Education||130,433||57,096||-56.2|
|Development and Promotion of Campus Journalism||9,608||2,152||-77.6|
|Physical Fitness and School Sports||388,155||288,966||-25.6|
|National Assessment for Basic Education||485,224||236,474||-51.3|
|DepEd Computerization Program||8,659,380||4,276,409||-50.6|
|Learning Tools and Equipment||7,800,516||4,116,997||-47.2|
|Basic Education Facilities||105,461,287||34,742,454||-67.1|
|Madrasah Education Program||505,000||359,863||-28.7|
|Flexible Learning Options (ADM/ALS/EiE)||533,436||306,637||-42.5|
|School-based Feeding Program||5,302,319||3,967,473||-25.2|
With these in mind, basic education input may also be affected. In terms of textbooks and instructional materials, from a proposed 15.6 million learning materials worth P2.98 billion, the recommended input is P1.794 billion. As to the Special Hardship Allowance (SHA) of school personnel in hardship posts, pure Multi-Grade, or ALS, the recommended input is P2.15 billion from a proposed P3.8 billion for 66,635 school personnel.
In addition, the budget for Special Education (SPED) amounting to P562,732,000 has not been restored despite the appeal to DBM.
Nevertheless, there is a new line item in the DepEd budget. In support of the Philippine Oral Health Program, the School Dental Health Care Program, which amounts to P2,281.547 million, was included in the GAA.
DepEd budget policies
The Department’s improved performance is attributed to program and financial management, procurement process reforms, and strategic interventions which include early downloading of funds to implementing units, strict and continuous monitoring and reporting of the use of funds, the roll-out of multi-year guidelines to fast-track implementation of programs and activities, the creation of a Fiscal Reforms Committee (FRC) to lead in addressing change management in finance services, and the reconstitution of six Bids and Awards Committees (BACs), among others. Created at the policy level, these initiatives were meant to help address long time bottlenecks, challenges, and constraints within the Department.
The year 2018 was also tagged as a “practice” year for ACBA. Everyone concerned, from the Central Office, to the Regions, down to the schools, is operating as if there is only a year to implement projects — obligate our funds, deliver the goods and services for inspection, pay for the said goods and services, and delivery time to end-user.
For 2019, DepEd is strengthening these reforms to rise to the same-year delivery challenge brought about by ACBA.
 Ratios computed looks ideal, however, it varies at the field level since this is a result of aggregated data
 Source: DBM Confirmation Letter dated June 11, 2018
 National Budget Memorandum No. 130 dated April 13, 2018: Budget Priorities Framework for the Preparation of the FY 2019 Agency Budget Proposals Under Tier 2