Press Release
November 19, 2020

Opening Statement of Senator Pia S. Cayetano
Sponsor, Senate Finance Committee Vice Chair
On the proposed 2021 budget of the Department of Education & its attached agencies

Mr. President, it is my honor to sponsor the budget of the Department of Education and its attached agencies.

We have all witnessed how this ongoing pandemic has disrupted the delivery of education to Filipinos. The initiatives we pushed for under the budgets of these agencies were anchored on the principles of sustainable development & Futures Thinking.

Securing our youth's future should start with smart and strategic investments in childhood education, considering that a child's first years are the most important period for learning. Thus, we increased the ECCDC's budget, for the establishment of more National Child Development Centers in the country where teachers are trained, and for the conversion of day care centers to child development centers

We also supported DepEd's request for the funding of the printing of Self-Learning Modules for students who are now studying at home.

Part of our SDG targets is to reduce inequalities (SDG 10). In delivering quality education to Filipinos, we should make sure that no child will get left behind. Under DepEd's budget, the Special Education line item was reintroduced to benefit more learners with special needs.

We are also cognizant of the need to support our teachers through additional subsidies and allowances. We also proposed this and it was also carried.

Meanwhile, as Chair of the Committee on SDGs, Innovation, & Futures Thinking, and having just sponsored the budget of DOH yesterday, I am cognizant of the need to invest more to achieve our targets under SDG 3 - Good Health and Wellbeing. When asked about the health budget yesterday, we responded by saying that we pushed for other health-related initiatives spread throughout the NEP and in the GAB, including here in the DepEd budget.

Additional budget was granted for our school-based feeding program, to ensure the continuous supply of nutritious food and milk to children who need them.

We inserted a special provision mandating DepEd to provide a pool of registered guidance counselors who will support the mental healthcare of students, in accordance with the Mental Health Act. I believe this is also the initiative of our Chair of the Committee on Finance.

And then we also need to improve our school-based healthcare infrastructure and I am hoping - this one is still a wishlist - that we can find funding for the following:

- Water systems to provide students with potable water (there are still 3,861 schools have no access to potable water)
- Clean sanitation systems, including functional toilets
- Group handwashing facilities (around 7,704 group handwashing facilities need to be constructed)
- School clinics (of the 47,013 schools nationwide, only 28% or about 13,081 have clinics)

For the actual budget breakdown:

The budget of DepEd (Office of the Secretary) and its attached agencies for fiscal year 2021, with total new appropriations of Php 563,124,789,000, broken down as follows:

DEPED OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY with total new appropriations of Php 562,016,466,000.


- EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE AND DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL with total new appropriations of

- NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SPORTS with total new appropriations of Php 264,668,000

- NATIONAL BOOK DEVELOPMENT BOARD with total new appropriations of Php 79,210,000

- NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR CHILDREN'S TELEVISION with total new appropriations of Php 22,076,000

- NATIONAL MUSEUM with total new appropriations of Php 532,442,000

- PHILIPPINE HIGH SCHOOL FOR THE ARTS with total new appropriations of Php 100,886,000

We look forward to working with our colleagues in passing the budget for our basic education sector and these attached agencies.

I am now ready to accept questions.

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