Press Releases

Salceda on Sara as DepEd Secretary: “Brings oomph to the education sector;” House tax chair lauds higher budget for GASTPE, full implementation of EO 174

March 20th, 2023

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) lauded the improvements in the implementation of the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE) program and Executive Order No. 174 s. 2022, on teacher career progression, saying that Vice President Sara Duterte, who heads the Department of Education, “brings oomph to the education sector.”

Salceda made these comments following a hearing by the House Committee on Basic Education on proposed bills for the GASTPE program and teacher career advancement.

“The GASTPE voucher program used to be paid in two tranches, and was given a budget of around P30 billion in 2022, allocated prior to Duterte taking the helm in DepEd. In Sara’s first year, it is now at P59 billion, paid in a single tranche, so there is no issue of timing in payments. That is probably what is saving the private education sector, especially small schools, from collapse,” Salceda said.

“Only under Sara could that level of prioritization for education be achieved. I originally wished she were appointed in DSWD, but her placement in DepEd is proving to be correct.”

Salceda is also pushing that the voucher program’s disparities in subsidy amount between regions (ranging from P9-11,000 per student) be reconsidered, and supports expanding the GASTPE to lower grades in basic education.

“It appears that beneficiaries of the voucher program from the private education service contracting JHS are able to achieve the highest retention rates in senior high school, while it is the lowest from beneficiaries from public junior high schools. In other words, this is an argument for an end-to-end GASTPE program. Where a GASTPE program exists earlier, the retention rates are higher for GASTPE programs later on. So, this supports the proposal to expand the GASTPE to earlier grade levels,” Salceda said.

“There are also regional disparities, as already pointed out by the Deped in the subsidy amounts between regions in and outside NCR. The differences in subsidy amount appears to have created a gaping disjoint in participation rates between NCR (76.54% participation rates) versus those outside NCR, where only region 11 and CAR exceed the national average of 42.6%,” Salceda added.

Full implementation of teacher career progression EO lauded

Salceda also praised DepEd’s implementation of Executive Order No. 174 s. 2022, issued by President Duterte, creating new teaching positions, namely, Teacher IV, Teacher V, Teacher VI, Teacher VII, and Master Teacher V, and promote professional development and career advancement among public school teachers. The Order also creates two career lines— classroom teaching or school administration.

“I commend the DepEd for fully implementing EO 174. This is the fundamental step to deeper education reform,” Salceda said.

The creation of expanded career tracks, Salceda adds, helps “great teachers remain teaching.”

“When one good teacher moves to administration for career advancement, we lose a good teacher without guarantee of getting a good administrator. And teachers trained and studied to become teachers, not administrators.”

“With this expanded career track, students and younger teachers benefit from the experience of more senior teachers – who can stay in teaching because they now have a pathway for promotion following that track.”

“This reform, of course, requires more resources. DepEd is fortunate to have Sara – she can’t be refused,” Salceda added

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