While public schools in the Philippines may already be operating their own Special Education (SPED) programs under the supervision of the Department of Education (DepEd), congress has never allocated a budget for SPED per se.
DepEd was only recently granted funds from the 2020 national budget for SPED programs under the administration of Education Secretary Leonor Briones. According to DepEd Undersecretary for Finance Service and Education Programs Delivery Unit Annalyn Sevilla, SPED was allocated Php 107 million in the 2020 General Appropriations Act (GAA).
Php 100 million will be used for the MOOE (Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses) while Php 7 million will go to the capital outlay.
Although the allocation is warmly welcomed by DepEd, Sevilla explained that the granted amount fell “way below” the proposed budget of Php 500 million. As such, it can only be expected that the amount “may not be enough” to completely transform the SPED program but may still “help them review the policies.”
Briones continues to campaign for the regulation of fees and rates applied by various institutions for SPED classes, especially with the majority of these institutions being private.
“Since these are specialized classes, the cost of sending a child with special needs to these schools is really high, it’s expensive,” Briones explained. “This will make private SPED services more accessible to students who need it.”
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