Private schools in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) will be included in the Government Assistance and Subsidies to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE), Senator Win Gatchalian assured.
The ratified bicameral conference committee report on the 2023 national budget carried a special provision proposed by Gatchalian, which provides that the Department of Education (DepEd) shall continue to implement the Government and Assistance (GAS) programs for beneficiaries, learners, teachers, and schools in BARMM. The DepEd is further mandated to provide guidelines on the implementation, release, and monitoring of payment to BARMM schools.
According to Gatchalian, this special provision will provide a legal basis for DepEd to pay for GAS vouchers for BARMM schools. BARMM’s Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) previously asked for DepEd’s help to cover BARMM in GASTPE, which has no allocation under the BARMM budget.
Gatchalian further added that including BARMM learners in the GASTPE Program should help address low enrollment and cohort survival rates in the region. The lawmaker pointed out last August that while enrollment in all regions reached 99% compared to that of the previous school year, enrollment in BARMM has remained at 89%
“Magandang balita sa ating mga mag-aaral sa private schools ng BARMM. Sila ay makakatanggap ng tulong pinansyal mula sa pamahalaan sa ilalim ng 2023 budget. Mahalaga ito upang matiyak natin na mas maaabot natin ang mas maraming mag-aaral sa rehiyon at hindi sila mapag-iiwanan pagdating sa dekalidad na edukasyon,” said Gatchalian, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education.