Public schools operating expenses increased
The Department of Education has significantly increased its allocation for schools maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) by 46% this year as the government intensifies its efforts to achieve the learning targets of some 20 million students in elementary and secondary public schools nationwide.
Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC said DepEd and the Department of Budget and Management both agreed to adopt a refined formula for setting the MOOE budgets of public schools, which takes into account not only the number of students in a school, but also the number of classrooms and teachers. The new formula is more responsive to the requirements for improved classroom instruction and better school management. The increase in MOOE comes together with the government’s classroom construction program and its massive teacher hiring program, which are part of the government’s continuing thrust to improve conditions in public schools and upgrade the quality of education.
“There has been a significant increase of budget for the school MOOE in 2013. We reiterate the guidelines to ensure that the budget really goes to schools in critical and priority areas that would help their conditions and improve quality of learning in our schools,” added Luistro.
The increase in school MOOE is more significant for elementary schools, which expanded by 68%, from approximately P3.97 billion in 2012 to P6.67 billion in 2013. For the secondary level, the school MOOE rose from P3.85 billion in 2012 to P4.75 billion this year or an increase of 23%. The average elementary MOOE per school is PhP173,450 (68% increase) while the average secondary MOOE per school is PhP635,700 (23% increase). This reflects the Department’s desire to address the relatively more pressing needs faced by elementary schools in the country.
There was also a significant increase in funding for in-service training for teachers (INSET) which reached a total of P337 million an additional P67.981 million from the previous budget.
Luistro explained that the administration of the Department is best seen in how the schools are managed on a daily basis, thus, the principals are given funds to empower them to maintain the schools well. “By increasing the MOOE, our schools can be well maintained so that it becomes the proud center of the locality,” he said.
The Secretary also enjoined principals to monitor and demand the release of the MOOE funds to their schools by the Division Offices. The amount of MOOE per school will be published in the Department of Education’s website. The Department also encourages parents, communities and other stakeholders to monitor the utilization of these funds to help ensure that these go to the most critical priorities of the school.