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Sara Duterte defends DepEd’s P150-million confidential funds

Sara Duterte defends DepEd’s P150-million confidential funds

The Department of Education defended the confidential fund under its proposed P710 billion budget for 2023, stating that there’s a direct link between basic education and national security.

Vice President Sara Duterte said this at the House appropriations committee budget briefing.

“The OVP and the DepEd are two separate entities. They are two separate departments of the government. And they have separate mandates as well,” she said.

“The success of a project, activity or program really depends on very good intelligence and surveillance because you want to target specific issues and challenges,” she added.

Duterte cited sexual grooming of students, youth recruitment to terrorism, and drug use of DepEd workers among the issues faced by the department.

“That is why we need the help of the security cluster and the security sector to address these issues and challenges to basic education. And as I said, basic education has a direct link to our country’s national security,” Duterte added.

Kabataan Rep. Raoul Manuel, in a statement, said that surveillance may “sow unnecessary terror, distrust, and chaos within schools.”

“With the national government’s track record, these confidential funds will most likely do more harm than good to the education community. These problems indeed need to be addressed but DepEd is approaching it the wrong way – the militarist way,” Manuel explained.

“The bottom line is – it is better to fund defined, transparent, and beneficial programs rather than shelving billions in unaccountable confidential funds. Overall, the DepEd confidential fund is obviously intended for repressive policies while being prone to corruption,” he further said.