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Lawmaker asks CHEd how it will use P29B K to 12 transition fund

/ 07:40 PM March 29, 2015

MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker has asked the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) to explain how it plans to use its proposed P29-billion transition fund for teachers who will be affected by the transition to the K to 12 basic education curriculum.

Valenzuela Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian (Nationalist People’s Coalition) said CHEd asked for the special funding without giving details how the money would be used.

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“Congress needs to know exactly where the money will go. CHEd has yet to give the breakdown of the P29 billion fund,” said Gatchalian, who sits in the House committees on basic education and culture and on higher and technical education.

News reports have quoted CHEd Commissioner Maria Cynthia Bautista as saying that the transition fund would support college faculty and personnel who would get salary cuts or who would be laid off due to the decreased college enrollment during the transition years beginning in 2016.

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CHEd wants Congress to approve the transition fund by October this year.

The K to 12 (Kindergarten to Grade 12) reform had revised the basic education curriculum by adding kindergarten and two senior high school years (Grades 11 and 12) to the previous 10-year curriculum.

Grade 11 will be fully implemented in June 2016 and Grade 12 in June 2017.

While reiterating his support for the K to 12 reform, saying its benefits would outweigh the costs, Gatchalian said CHEd should disclose the details of its proposed transition fund in light of fears of mass layoff of college faculty and personnel.

“CHEd has to be transparent about the use of the fund so we in Congress can scrutinize it. More than 55,000 teachers and another 23,000 non-teaching jobs will lose their jobs and this will translate to a financial loss for their respective families,” he said.

He cited House Bill 5493, called the “Tertiary Education and Transition Fund of 2015,” which has provided that the transition fund will be taken from the government’s Higher Education Development Fund, from state universities and colleges as well as from taxes collected from higher education institutions, incremental dividends and receipts from state-run firms and government savings.

The proposed fund can also be supported by private donations, the bill states. SFM

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TAGS: college faculty, college personnel, Commission on Higher Education, Education, Education Reform, Government Budget, government funds, House of Representatives, K to 12, K to 12 education reform, layoff, Maria Cynthia Bautista, National Budget, News, Philippine Congress, Schools, Sherwin Gatchalian, transition fund
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