THE Department of Education (DepEd) under the watch of Secretary Leonor Briones will no longer accept classrooms donated by state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor).
“I will not dishonor the previous executives who accepted them [classrooms donated by Pagcor]because they were there already but not during my watch,” Briones said on Friday, maintaining her anti-gambling stance.
“Maybe if I’m removed [from office], then they can come back,” the DepEd chief added.
Briones, a former national treasurer, noted that she already returned the balance of unspent money that was given by Pagcor.
According to her, the shortage of classrooms is a function of efficiency.
“It’s not because we need them very badly because we are being provided by the government and there are many donors as well. The only problem with different kinds of donors who donate classrooms is that they have different standards, but the DepEd has a particular standard. The donors also have their own ways of doing things, which are not necessarily the same with classrooms built by the DepEd,” Briones explained.
The DepEd chief also wants to remove online lottery outlets located near schools or areas where students congregate.
“I brought it up in a Cabinet [meeting]because there is a previous policy that allows local government units to set up online lottery. Personally, I am not for it, but it is an existing policy that is being implemented,” Briones said.
“I do not believe that gambling could be a major source of revenue for the government, but it is a policy,” she added.
NEIL A. ALCOBER