A legislator from Mindanao on Tuesday said he would push for a bigger share of the national government’s budget for education and public works as he lamented the drastic cut in his province share of that budgetary item.
“Before we used to get around 20 to 30 new classrooms a year. Now we only got five. In 2017, we hired 200 new teachers, this year, teacher hiring went down to only 20,” Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr. of Surigao del Sur said.
Pichay said the sharp decrease in the number of new classrooms and the accompanying reduction in the hiring of new teachers was done despite the province’s fastest-growing population.
Pichay blamed that the new “cash basis” budgeting scheme of the national government for the difficulties in getting funds for classroom construction the hiring of new teachers.
This, he said, despite the fact that the province was among the fastest-growing localities in the country.
For 2020, Pichay said only a few teachers would be hired in Surigao del Sur.
He is at a loss to explain the seeming inequity.
“I cannot understand it. While the population is increasing fast, the hiring of new teachers and the construction of classroom has almost come to a standstill.”
He said provincial officials must seek an audience with officials of the Department of Education and the Department of Budget and Management on the matter.
“We need to enlighten the people at the DBM. The Education secretary should make DBM realize that we have an increasing population and we need more teachers and school buildings so as not to sacrifice the future of our children,” Pichay said.
He said he will file a resolution, in aid of legislation, next year to make DepEd and DBM officials explain the sorry state of education situation in the province.