DILG favors bigger education fund 

STUDENTS attend limited face-to-face classes at a school in Manila on May 31. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ KRIZ JOHN ROSALES

THE DEPARTMENT of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Tuesday said it favors a proposal to increase the annual real property tax by 1 percentage point to cover a special fund for education, with reservations.  

The special education fund given to public schools should be used to improve learning quality, such as building school infrastructure and buying books, instead of uniforms and bags, DILG representative and lawyer Keith B. Mengullo told a House of Representatives hearing. 

She said school uniforms and accessories such as bags and shoes are unlikely to improve the quality of education, adding that more important items should be prioritized. 

Ms. Mengullo said the agency had supported a similar bill in the past Congress. 

Several bills have been filed seeking to expand the coverage of the special education fund. One of the measures, House Bill 558, also increases the real property tax imposed by local government to 2%. 

The Local Government of Code of 1991 mandates an additional 1% tax on real property collected by local governments that goes to public schools. 

The law limits the allocation to the operation, maintenance, construction and repair of these schools, as well as the purchase of books and sports development. 

Ms. Mengullo said Congress should also review the provision on contractual employment for teaching staff. — Matthew Carl L. Montecillo