The expected outcome of this scrutiny will shape the decision on whether to allocate funds for this purpose in the agency’s 2024 budget. Pasig City Representative Roman Romulo, shedding light on the matter, underscored the necessity of evaluating how these funds were employed, aiming to gain clarity on their utilization.
Demand for Transparency and Accountability
Speaking on CNN Philippines’ The Source, Roman Romulo emphasized that the time has come for the Congress to delve into the specifics of the DepEd’s confidential funds expenditure.
The goal of all of this is to ascertain the needed level of transparency amongst the Department of Education and the Filipino mass as it is the government’s responsibility to not only provide the highest quality of education the country can access, but to also provide them transparency on where their taxes are going in terms of education and learning spending.
For the year 2024, the DepEd is seeking an allocation of ₱150 million for its confidential funds, aligning with the same sum granted by Congress in the 2023 budget.
The DepEd’s proposal has not been without controversy, as certain lawmakers raised objections. In response, Vice President and DepEd Secretary Sara Duterte asserted the interconnectedness of education and national security as a key rationale for the allocation. Although the budget breakdown was not divulged, she emphasized that clear guidelines are in place governing the responsible use of these funds.
The forthcoming inquiry by the House of Representatives holds significance not only for the DepEd but also for the nation’s education and security landscape. As the Congress examines the past year’s confidential funds usage, the outcomes of this assessment will influence the direction of budget allocation in 2024.
The need for transparency, prudence, and accountability in utilizing these resources stands as a shared commitment as the government navigates the delicate balance between educational imperatives and national security considerations.
As the Philippines’ House of Representatives turns its attention to the deployment of confidential funds within the Department of Education, the nation witnesses a process aimed at reinforcing transparency and accountability.
The evaluation of past fund usage will guide decisions shaping future budgets, reflecting the nation’s dedication to fostering a secure and resilient education system aligned with the needs of the times.