DepEd will ''internally realign'' proposed 2023 budget to fund SPED
The Department of Education (DepEd) will “internally realign” its proposed budget for 2023 to fund the Special Education (SPED) program.
In the Senate finance committee hearing Thursday, Education Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla said: ''We would like to update you that we will internally realign our funds so that the SPED program could be funded in 2023. So we will restore the budget of SPED per instruction of our VP (Vice President) Secretary (Sara Duterte). All of it. In the same level of the 2022 (SPED budget).”
The SPED budget for 2022 was P560 million.
Senator Pia Cayetano said she and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian had been fighting for have a separate budget for SPED for three years.
“Maybe Usec Ann, you can add a little bit of detail. Because of the new law, the Inclusive Education Law, you made some changes, right?” Cayetano said, addressing Sevilla.
“You were telling me during my briefing, of course, there was this transition and everything so unfortunately it wasn’t funded. But now you are reassuring me…I really want to put that on record because if it is not in the NEP (National Expenditure Program), next year, it also would not be included,” she added.
Republic Act (RA) 11650 or the Inclusive Education Law directs schools to provide accessible quality education to learners with disabilities.
For his part, Education Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III said they want to institutionalize the budget of SPED.
“We would like to institutionalize the budget of SPED. In fact, we would like to make it Tier 1 in the budgeting. Part of it is really to coordinate with the Department of Interior and Local Government so that we can communicate with the local chief executives and identify the number of special children who are in special education,” Densing said.
“Hopefully, we can put Infrastructure programs or projects in certain areas where there is a volume of special education children. So our target is to institutionalize the SPED budget for Deped,” he added.
Regarding the construction of classrooms affected by typhoons, Duterte said the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) called her to meet on Monday. Jaspearl Tan/DMS