"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Monday, September 10, 2012

DepEd Budget (292) versus Special Purpose Fund (317)

Ernest F. Calayag wrote an opinion for the Philippine Daily Inquirer. He mentioned a promise by Roxas when he was running for vice president in 2010, that if they (Aquino and Roxas) win, the DepEd Budget would be increased to the level recommended by UNESCO, 5-6%. "A Promise Yet to Be Fulfilled" was the title of the opinion article. And Calayag explains with humor:


"However, simple logic explains why only 2-3 percent of the GDP has been allotted for education for the past fiscal years: the 5-6 percent appropriation promised for education was made on the assumption that both candidates, Aquino and Roxas, would win. Given that only one-half of the Noy-Mar tandem won, it stands to reason that only half of the promised 5-6 percent allocation would be considered due."
The Tribune (http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/headlines/item/3939-noy-slams-briones-denies-claim-his-p317-b-pork-goes-to-lp-2013-kitty) has recently discussed an item in the proposed budget, a 317.58 billion Special Purpose Fund. Apparently, according to former National Treasurer Leonor Briones, this is a fund "only the President can disburse as he pleases". This is the "pork barrel" of the members of Congress, to be handed out by the Executive Branch.

Zambales Rep. Milagros "Mitos" Magsaysay has this to say:
“I thought we are now under the daang matuwid and that we are transparent? So, why insert a line item budget of P317 billion as Special Purpose Fund the very purpose of which, we all know would not never be disclosed?” ...And to think that comprises almost 1/6 of the entire national budget!”
...What will happen is we will have a rubber stamp Congress and the legislative branch of government has now surrendered its autonomy to the executive branch,.. And all the while I was made to believe that the power of the purse rests with Congress. But with this kind of situation wherein it is now under the Office of the  President and discretion of the President, we in Congress no longer hold that power of the purse.”
 The proposed DepEd budget for 2013 is 292 billion. The Special Purpose Fund is 317 billion. These are numbers to ponder....

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