P532-M budget for SPED in 2023 dropped
“Despite our earnest efforts to advocate for our learners with special needs, it was not considered in the National Expenditure Program,” the DepEd said in a statement on Monday.
The DepEd clarified the issue in response to “malicious and misleading reports that DepEd deliberately excluded funding for the special education program.”
Michael Poa, spokesperson for the DepEd, said “internal adjustments” were being made in the available maintenance and other operating expenses of schools to support the SPED program.
“According to our finance strand, for [fiscal year] 2021, no amount was allotted for SPED under NEP, but was eventually funded under [the General Appropriations Act] i.e. P329 million,” Poa said.
Education Undersecretary Ernesto Gaviola admitted that the DepEd’s programs for special children had no dedicated budget under the 2023 NEP.
“We requested P560 million for 2023, but it’s zero budget,” Gaviola said.