By Junex Doronio
August 25, 2022
DBM Sec. Amenah Pangandaman
MANILA — Apparently avoiding being charged with intellectual dishonesty, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Friday admitted that the government does not have enough funding under the P5.2-trillion proposed national budget for 2023 to fully address the classroom shortage.
“There is a separate budget for school buildings at P13.9 billion, [but] we don’t have enough funds to provide for the backlog of the classrooms,” Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman told a panel of congressmen.
Pangandaman, however, maintained that while the budget for the classroom backlog is not enough, the government uses sound methods to maximize the resources it has in addressing backlogs in government infrastructure, including classrooms.
“We already increased the budget for [school buildings] by P3 billion. Madam chair, we also need to take into consideration the absorptive capacity of the agency in the preparation of the budget,” the DBM chief said.
Earlier, Department of Education (DepEd) spokesperson Michael Poa disclosed that they don’t expect that the 40,000-classroom shortage would be fully addressed in 2023.
“In preparing the budget, we also consider the fiscal space given to us by the Development Budget Coordination Committee. We have the formula to come up with a budget for each department, and we take into consideration the absorptive capacity of the agencies,” Pangandaman stressed. (ai/mtvn)