Social Sciences Division
In partial fulfillment of the course
Political Science 150: Public Administration and Governance
Classroom Discussion No. 1:
(The impact and prospects of the Local Government Units through the Local School Boards in improving the delivery of basic public education)
Kristina Marie Rizon
John Lord Escatron
Christian Marc Lianza
Mark Jeeg Jamin
“The present situation of the public school in the Philippines is very much alarming and needs urgent action. The perennial problem of scarcity funds for school buildings, classrooms, desks and chairs has further deteriorated the quality of learning in public schools. This is one of the reasons why our public education system continues to lag behind our Southeast Asian neighbors.”(Ejercito,House Bill 669). This situation has always been the problem of the Philippine public education system regardless of the numerous bills and existing laws that have been in the corners and walls of our legislature. The worsening crisis of the education system aggravated the crisis we are into branching out several poverty-related problems such as the child labor. It is a constitutional mandate for the government to provide free and quality basic education to its citizens. This mandate is manifested through the creation of the Department of Education that supervises both elementary and secondary education in the country. The Department of Education is the hands of national government in delivering effectively this basic social service.
In the Philippine context, education is a devolved service. Local Government Units do provide supplementary support in meeting the goals of the government to the public basic education sector. This is because LGUs can legally chunk off a piece of its budget towards the basic education subsector through the Special Education Fund (SEF). The republic Act 7160 of 1991 or better known as the Local Government Code mandates LGUs to impose and collect an additional 1% tax on real properties. This gives the LGUs the leeway to allocate financial support supplementary to the budget given by DepEd toward their own public education sector from the SEF and from the General Fund. Together, the national government and the LGUs have a crucial role in the issue of providing accessible and quality basic education. In Davao City last 2006, a case was filed against Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for the “alleged” misuse of public funds. The said funds amount to P11.5 million was charged by Duterte from the Special Education Fund and wa used to stage a Christmas party for the teachers and government employee. On a news article published by Inquirer dated last March 29, 2011. “Instead of textbooks, school supplies and new classrooms, Duterte gave away to city hall employees P7.8 million worth of appliances, including four refrigerator, four color television sets, four washing machine, 100 flat irons, rice cooker, electric air pots, stand fans, and toasters and 200 wall clocks. Duterte also spent P3.55 million for food caterers, Ombudsman investigators said.” On the later articles, the ruling of the Ombudsman to dismiss the officials together with Duterte was reversed by the Court of Appeals due to lack of evidence. The case is not merely isolated in Davao precisely because similar cases also happened in Davao because of the lack of transparency in Local School Boards and in some instance undefined guidelines. The purpose of the decentralization among our Local Government Units and the centrality of the department of Education to address the needs of the public still leave us to examine its prospects. How is the process done? The intervention and the complex process operated among Local leaders such as the mayors, the politicians and the bureaucrats inside the Local School Boards initially assumed to trigger the main purpose. What institutional reforms can we forward in order to...