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Sara Duterte urges LGUs to prioritize education investments

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte called on local government units (LGUs) on Monday to prioritize investments in the education sector to help Filipino students.

“It has always been said that education is the greatest equalizer. Sa edukasyon po, walang mahirap, walang mayaman — lahat po sila ay graduates [in terms of education, no one is poor nor rich — they are all graduates],” said Duterte during the 28th Founding Anniversary of Kalinga and 4th Bodong Festival.

During her speech, Duterte again reiterated the need to address the country's lack of school infrastructure and facilities as cited in her Basic Education Report (BER) 2023.

She also stressed the need for the Department of Education (DepEd) stakeholders from the local government units, the private sector, and international partners to collaborate and act to build, repair, and maintain school infrastructures in order to accommodate the growing number of learners in the country.

Duterte also talked about Executive Order 183 which orders the full devolution of certain functions of the executive branch of the government to LGUs. 

“As we start implementing Executive Order 138 empowering our local government units toward full autonomy and greater resiliency, I enjoin our local leaders to prioritize investments in education,” Duterte said.

EO 138 was signed by her father, former President Rodrigo Duterte, in 2021. 

Based on her BER, Duterte said only 104,536 out of the 327,851 school buildings in the country are in good condition. There are also 100,072 school buildings that need minor repairs, 89,252 that need major repairs, and 21,727 that are set for condemnation.

There are more than 28.4 million students enrolled in 44,931 public schools and 12,162 private schools nationwide in the current academic year. —Giselle Ombay/ VAL, GMA Integrated News