Saturday, November 22, 2014

#Philippines' prioritization of public #education just an illusion

In terms nominal peso value, the budget for Education has been increasing, but that is only to comply with the law. That is not the complete picture. Depending on the year, the peso value increases have been ranging between 6% to 10% per annum. Considering that inflation has been running between 4 to 5%, the increases really just covers inflation. If we say then that the increases were at 1to 5%, then that may just be covering the increases in student population. I have a suspicion that in terms of peso allocated per student, the amount may even be decreasing.

No wonder, they could not increase the salaries of teachers, which we haven't added to the above. What about depreciation, deterioration of facilities, etc (What about the increasing rate of tongpats too? You know that old politicians are appalled at what s been happening. They were happy in their time with 10%, at most 30% but very seldom. Since Gloria's time, weren't we hearing 50, 100, even 200% coming out of Blue Ribbon investigations?)

The UN has urged developing nations to base allocations for education based on GDP, and they pegged the standard at 7% of GDP. I understand PHL could not comply with that as that would mean spending our entire budget just on education. Education budget is at Php300 to 400B, that is I believe in the region of +/- one% of GDP (which is around USD600B, if my memory serves me right). The only reason why there are years we see two% of GDP is because Bro Luistro has been busy looking for outside funding, and those are years he got lucky. This shows you that govt in general does not focus on education. Increases were just to comply with law, and that is it, no further initiative, except that coming from Luistro, all by his lonesome self.

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