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By: Mylen Manto | Published Saturday, July 25, 2020
Gov. Gwen Garcia asked DepEd Cebu Province to revise its proposed budget for school year 2020-2021, scrapping the unrealistic items found. (Lito Tecson)

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia slashed the proposed budget of the Department of Education (DepEd) Cebu Province endorsed to the Provincial School Board (PSB) for the school year 2020-2021, scrapping items found to be unrealistic.

DepEd Cebu Province, through Provincial Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Marilyn Andales, proposed a P427.7-million budget for school year 2020-2021.

The proposed amount is higher than the Local School Board’s existing fund balance of P402.2 million as of June 30, 2020.

Garcia questioned the proposed P127,019,500-allocation for the purchase of books for the newly added Good Manners and Right Conduct (GMRC) subject for Grades 1 to 6 students.

President Rodrigo Duterte recently signed into law the Republic Act 11476 or GMRC and Values Education Act, which added GMRC as a class subject.

Its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) has yet to be issued.

“Mao nay ako. Maghimo-himo tag ato, we will spend that much, only to find out nga kinahanglan usbon nato kay lahi ang IRR. Besides, modular na lagi ta, ngano tagaan natog libro sila tanan? Unya kon modular pa gyud ta, di kaha na doble? Unsaon naman nilang libro, i-display sa balay?” Garcia said.

Andales agreed and committed to wait for the IRR before purchasing the said books.

Garcia also asked the P75.6-million budget to buy boxes for the students’ learning modules. She suggested to use plastic envelopes instead, which is cheaper than the proposed boxes and can be used when physical classes resume.

She questioned as well why the PSB must spend for the purchase of 3-ply surgical masks, face shields for teachers, and air purifiers for classrooms, when this wasn’t even done for Capitol employees.

“I cannot fathom nganong dili ang DepEd ana, taking care of our own ba. Kami, we’re taking care here of our own usa diris probinsya. Nganong dili man ni ma-provide? I cannot be spending this much when I have not spend this much for our employees,” she explained. 

The governor, however, promised the Capitol will give face masks to teachers and provide UV light for the disinfection of classrooms. 

Garcia also disapproved the P8.9-million proposed budget for gardening tools for elementary schools and the P125 million proposed budget for the feeding program since physical learning in schools is still not allowed. 

Meanwhile, she approved the purchase of crayons and pencils for kindergarten students as well as ballpens, bond papers, notebooks, and papers for elementary students included in the budget proposal.

Andales committed to do the revisions as advised. 

Provincial Board Member and Committee on Higher and Technical Education Chairperson Christopher Baricuatro said they will approve the proposed expenditures of the DepED Cebu Province, once amended. (Mylen Manto)