Teacher’s Group wants bigger MOOE budget for school
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers pressed the government to double the school maintenance and other operating expenses to ensure the safe reopening of classes.
“As of now the total school MOOE is just around P30 billion divided among all 48,000 public schools and it was computed following a pre-pandemic formula, based on the type of school and number of classrooms, students and teachers. This only suffices for pre-pandemic regular operational expenses like utilities, supplies, small repairs, equipment, salaries of job order workers, and budget for activities, but needs for a safe school reopening were not factored in,” Vladimer Quetua, the group’s chairperson, said.
“Out of the P592 billion Deped budget, only 5 percent actually goes to school operations and this also accounts to a mere 30 percent of the P98 billion total DepEd MOOE budget. However, the DepEd always invokes this miniscule fund whenever the need to construct and procure health and safety facilities and equipment to ensure a safe return to face to face classes is raised. No wonder teachers and principals often have to shell out their own money to get things moving,” Quetua said.
“It is also the reason why 50 percent of our schools were not able to return to face-to-face classes,” he added.
Despite the increase in the spending limit on school MOOE from P15,000 to P50,000 per item, Quetua said the MOOE is insufficient to cover the needed improvements in classroom ventilation, installation of hand-washing facilities, setting-up of school clinics.
“This is the reason why we are calling on President Marcos to ask Congress to urgently legislate a supplemental budget to double the school MOOE for a safe 100 percent school reopening. They can even get the funds from the excise taxes and VAT on oil products since the government is clearly cashing in from the steep and rampant oil price hikes. Since they are adamant in not suspending them, then at least these taxes can directly be used for education recovery through 100 percent reopening of schools,” he said.