Senate to restore school repair fund


LAWMAKERS on Monday expressed willingness to help bring back the Quick Response Fund (QRF) item on the Department of Education’s budget for 2018 to speed up the repair of school buildings damaged by calamities.

They gave the assurance after Education Secretary Leonor Briones told members of the Senate finance committee about the huge backlog on school repairs amounting to P1.8 billion.

The DepEd used to have its own QRF fund used to repair or reconstruct school buildings damaged by typhoons and other calamities. The fund was removed from the department’s budget in 2017 and was transferred to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

“Since I came in (last year) we have not received a single centavo,” Briones told senators when asked if the agency got QRF fund from the NDRRMC.

Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino 4th asked Briones if it is possible for the Senate to create a QRF fund that would be added to the department’s 2018 budget.

Briones said it is possible and thanked the lawmakers for supporting the DepEd.

Briones said they would need at least P2 billion per year, plus the P1.8 billion that was not given by the Budget department.

DepEd is in charge of the repair of school buildings nationwide while the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) handles the construction of new schools.


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