DepEd, OVP confidential funds should be allocated to books, classrooms, teachers’ salaries and benefits

Karapatan today decried the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations and its political patronage of Vice President Sara Duterte, after the Committee swiftly approved the proposed budget of the Office of the Vice President which includes confidential funds amounting to P500 million.

“The Committee on Appropriations should be gravely reminded that what they are allocating is people’s money, not theirs to cater to their political ambitions. Their non-scrutiny of these questionable confidential funds is a clear sign of political patronage and lack of due diligence. These millions should have been best given to students and teachers for books and other instructional materials, classrooms and educational facilities, and teachers’ salaries and benefits,” said Roneo Clamor, Deputy Secretary General of Karapatan.

ACT

The rights group said that an additional P150 million categorized as confidential funds are being sought by the Department of Education, also under the auspices of Sara Duterte.

“Ni hindi man lang nagtanong ang mga kaalyado ng mga Duterte at Marcos kung saan gagastusin ang perang ito (These allies of the Dutertes and Marcoses didn’t even bother to ask questions on where these funds will be utilized). This speaks of the committee’s lack of independence and the inability to act for public interest,” Clamor said.

“We also fear that these funds may just be some big money pot susceptible to corrupt practices and Duterte’s red-tagging spree of youth organizations and alternative learning institutions for indigenous children. We call on the House leadership and the Senate to reallocate these funds for the most urgent needs of the education sector and for other basic social services,” he concluded.