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2016 DepEd budget up by 28 percent.

Bowing to a constitutional mandate that education must have the highest budget priority, the Senate set aside P411.58 billion for the Department of Education (DepEd) for its 2016 total expenditure program.

The DedEd budget is embedded in the proposed 2016 P3.002 national budget that the Senate passed on third and final reading Thursday, November 26. ''DepEd's budget increased by 28 percent because the implementation of the senior high school curriculum under the K-12 program will begin next year,'' Sen. Loren Legarda, chairwoman of the Senate finance committee said.

Legarda said the DepEd budget included allocation for the hiring of additional teachers and school feeding programs. It has also allocated P82.3 billion "for the construction of 47,553 classrooms and technical-vocational laboratories."

For the higher education sector, Legarda said that the Senate version of the proposed 2016 budget for the 113 state universities and colleges (SUCs) across the country increased by P4.27 billion. The funds will be used for erection of structures, acquisition of equipment, and scholarship grants, among others.

With the budget's approval in the Senate, lawmakers from both houses of Congress would devote their time next week for the bicameral conference committee meetings on the 2016 budget, Senate President Franklin M. Drion said.

Drilon expressed confidence that the budget would be signed by President Aquino before the year ends.

"We expect to submit the budget to the President by December 14. That's our target date so that the President will have a week to 10 days to review the budget and see whether he will exercise his line-item veto as he traditionally would," he added.

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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Nov 27, 2015
Words:272
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