The Special Education Fund (SEF) in the Philippines is a crucial component of the local government’s fiscal system, specifically earmarked for the advancement and support of public education within local government units (LGUs). Established under the Local Government Code of 1991 (Republic Act No. 7160), the SEF is funded primarily through an additional one percent tax on the assessed value of real property in the Philippines. This tax is collected alongside the regular real property tax.
Purpose and Allocation of SEF
The primary objective of the SEF is to augment the resources allocated for public education, ensuring that local educational needs are adequately met. The fund is utilized for various purposes, including but not limited to:
- Construction and Repair of School Buildings: The SEF provides financial support for the construction, repair, and maintenance of public school facilities, ensuring a conducive learning environment for students.
- Acquisition of Educational Materials and Equipment: This includes the purchase of textbooks, instructional materials, and necessary equipment to enhance the quality of education.
- Establishment and Maintenance of Extension Classes: The fund supports the creation and operation of extension classes, particularly in areas where access to education is limited.
- Implementation of Local Educational Programs: The SEF is used to finance local initiatives and programs aimed at improving the quality of education, such as teacher training, supplemental feeding programs, and educational research.
- Payment of Salaries and Allowances: In some cases, the fund may be used to supplement the salaries and allowances of teaching and non-teaching personnel.
Governance and Management
The management and allocation of the SEF are overseen by the Local School Board, which is composed of local government officials, Department of Education representatives, and appointed members from the private sector. The Local School Board is responsible for formulating policies and plans for the local educational system, ensuring that the SEF is utilized effectively and transparently.
The SEF plays a vital role in supporting the Philippine government’s efforts to provide quality education to all. By supplementing the national budget for education, the SEF helps address resource gaps at the local level, particularly in underprivileged and underserved communities.
In summary, the Special Education Fund in the Philippines is a dedicated financial resource aimed at enhancing and supporting public education at the local level. Its strategic utilization under the guidance of the Local School Board is essential in ensuring that the educational needs of Filipino students are met, thereby contributing to the overall development of the nation’s educational system.