Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez on Saturday proposed the use of the special education fund (SEF) of local government units (LGUs) to extend financial assistance to private school teachers aside from giving them training, amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
He made the proposal during a virtual meeting of the House committee on higher education, which is considering a proposal to expand the use of the SEF.
Rodriguez suggested that helping teachers should be included in the proposed expanded utilization of the local education fund.
“Congress has all the authority to decide on what’s best for the country. And I believe we can assist private school teachers whose remunerations are lagging behind. When we give assistance to teachers, it is for the benefit of the students,” he said.
“Teachers are like candles who in teaching their students consume themselves in order to give light to their students”, he said.
Romulo expressed concern over a constitutional provision which he said clearly states “that public funds should not be used for private purposes.”
But Rodriguez said the prohibition would not apply “because we’re not helping the private sector or school per se but we are helping the students of our country in private schools.”
“We can legislate that the special education fund in the local level be used for the purpose of assisting private schools. Their students are part of the public,” he told the committee.
He said the national government alone cannot supply all the needed devices since it is already hard-pressed for funds for Covid-19 response measures.