A lawmaker said local government units (LGUs) nationwide can draw from their respective Special Education Fund (SPF) to augment the P9 billion the Department of Education reportedly has for the printing of public school students’ learning modules.
“The SEF is exclusive for education purposes, so there should be funds there which can be budgeted or realigned for the urgent needs now and until the end of 2020,” Ako Bicol party-list representative Alfredo Garbin Jr. said in a statement.
Garbin said SEF funds must be released soon as thousands of teachers are still welcoming donations of supplies and other items they need for their learning modules.
This need, he said, is especially acute in smaller schools with fewer students because their MOOE (maintenance and other operating expenses) budget per school is barely enough to pay for basic needs like electricity, water, sanitation, Internet, and phone bills.
A school’s MOOE is tied to how many students are enrolled, he said. “The more populous the campus, the higher their MOOE funds,” he explained.
Garbin said the more financially able LGUs can opt to use their SEF to lease or purchase desktop computers, laptops, pocket WiFi, and broadband subscriptions.
“Perhaps, they could even acquire BGANs (Broadband Global Area Networks) and VSATs (Very Small Aperture Terminals) to significantly improve the Internet access of their students and teachers,” he said.