Tuesday, June 25, 2024

VP Sara Assures Immediate Action On Voucher Program Discrepancies


VP Sara Assures Immediate Action On Voucher Program Discrepancies


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Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte has assured immediate action on the alleged discrepancies in the voucher program under the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE).

Duterte made the response in an ambush interview on the sidelines of her engagements in Cambodia as the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) President on Thursday.

“Ngayon kung mayroon tayong nakikita na discrepancy doon sa billing ng private school, agad nating inaaksyunan (Now if we are seeing discrepancies in the billing of private schools, we are acting on it promptly),” she said.

Duterte mentioned establishing the Government Assistance and Subsidies Office (GASO) to look into the reported discrepancies in the billing issued by the private schools.

“Unang-una, hindi natin pinapabayaran, sina-stop payment natin sila (First of all, we are not issuing payments, we’re holding the payments),” she said.

“Pangalawa, kapag nabayaran na at nakita na hindi karapat-dapat o mayroong mali or mayroong problema doon sa billing, pinapa-refund natin at pinapabalik sa Department of Education (Second, if it’s already paid and we see that it’s ineligible, either there’s mistake or problem in the billing, we are asking for a refund to be brought back to the Department of Education),” Duterte added.

She also mentioned coordination with the Private Education Assistance Committee (PEAC) in terms of securing the voucher program billings from private schools.

On Wednesday, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian flagged the alleged bulk of undocumented beneficiaries of the E-GASTPE, during the Senate Committee on Basic Education’s hearing.

Gatchalian said the DepEd expected refunds to reach as high as PHP239 million, with some schools having PHP80 million and PHP68 million refunds, separately among others, based on the PEAC report.

In sum, the said amount would account for almost 19,000 undocumented voucher program beneficiaries. (PNA)

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