The Department of Education on Monday explained the non-inclusion of the Special Education budget in the National Expenditure Program for next year.
The DepEd made the statement in response to malicious and misleading reports that the agency deliberately excluded funding for the Special Education Program.
Under the NEP, the DepEd has a proposed budget of P532 million for SpEd for the fiscal year 2023.
“Unfortunately, despite our earnest efforts to advocate for our learners with special needs, it was not considered in the National Expenditure Program. This is true for two other programs that were excluded from the NEP,” the DepEd said in a statement.
The Education department, however, said that is not at a loss because it always works with Congress to find other ways to fund its programs.
In the past years, DepEd has likewise made efforts within the organization to ensure that programs are supported.
“This means that in order to support the program, internal adjustments are made — be it in the available MOOE (maintenance and other operating expenses) of schools or other programs, in order to fund SPED,” DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa said in a Viber message, adding that no learner with special needs will be deprived of education due to zero budget.
Citing the agency’s finance strand, Poa said that no amount was allotted for SPED under NEP for fiscal year 2021 but was eventually funded under the General Appropriations Act like for instance P329 million.
“For fiscal year 2022, it was funded under NEP (P297 million) and eventually increased to P560 million under GAA,” Poa added.
As of 2020, more or less 400,0000 children who have special education needs were enrolled in public schools.
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