November 16, 2021 – The Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday said that participating public schools are financially geared up for the pilot face-to-face implementation run on November 15, 2021.

Undersecretary for Finance Annalyn Sevilla reported that with the 100 public schools already identified and finalized, the Department has released financial guidelines to field offices in support of the operationalization of the pilot stage.

“Nag-issue kami ng guidelines to release the Php100,000 to serve as initial funding support to schools with the list we have downloaded last week, the allotment covers Php100,000 per school and also included here is the cash equivalent,” Usec. Sevilla noted.

Usec. Sevilla emphasized that the DepEd-Department of Health (DOH) Joint Memorandum Circular necessitates the financial guidance on the issuance’s key elements such as Safe Operations, Teaching and Learning, Including the Most Marginalized, and Ensuring well-being and protection.

The provision of supplemental funds to cover the financial requirements of specific provisions are supported by the following issuances: (1) DepEd-DOH JMC No. 01, Series of 2021 dated September 27, 2021, particularly Annex A, and (2) DepEd Order No. 14, Series of 2020 dated June 25, 2020, specifically in Annex B.

“Ito po ang naging batayan natin kung ano yung mga financial implications sa mga provisions ng JMC na ito at may mga dapat tayong paghandaan,” Usec. Sevilla added.

In addition, Sevilla mentioned that the Department is on standby for possible adjustments and support, including if a participating school will be forced to close due to a COVID-19 surge in their locality.

“Hindi naman po talaga sarado ang ating eskwelahan, sapagkat ang ating mga guro, punong guro, at mga kagawad na nagtatrabaho ay pumapasok sa ating mga eskwelahan kaya na-i-ready na natin ang mga schools physically, mentally, and socially,”

“[In fact], we are also preparing for the expanded stage kasi nalalapit ‘yan. After ng pilot study I think magiging parallel ‘yon, and we continue to prepare financially for the expansion phase this year, as well as next year,” Usec. Sevilla shared.

Meanwhile, Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones expressed optimism for the results of collaborations among different community stakeholders who committed support for the pilot.

“Kitang-kita na ang paghahanda ay hindi gawain ng isang tao lamang kundi yung buong DepEd has been involved in this pilot implementation,” Secretary Briones said.