The Ministry of Education provides funding for schools based on a funding formula that takes into account fixed expenses, per student allocation, number of teachers, number of classrooms, and number of graduating students. The formula does not provide additional funding to schools serving poorer or marginalized groups:
In 2013 the average elementary school was allocated approximately USD 3,720 (PHP 170,297) and the average high school USD 16,180 (PHP 744,358). Likewise, the average allocation per elementary student was USD 9.52 (PHP 484) USD 11.43 (PHP 581) for high school students.
Most of the funds are transferred to schools. In 2013, government allocations accounted for 68% of elementary schools’ and 82% of high schools’ discretionary funding. For 10% of schools, the government allocation was their only source of operational funding. In 2010, around 13% of school expenses came from non-government sources on average. The government also provides funding to private schools through the Government Assistance for Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE), to be discussed in the next section.
Three main programs have been developed to address inclusive education: education for indigenous people, Muslim students, and children with disabilities.
Indigenous Peoples Education Program: A program funded through a Program Support Fund (PSF) used for three types of activities: curriculum and learning resources development; capacity building; and education planning. In 2013, 997,138 elementary and 246,820 secondary indigenous students enrolled in school represented 3.26% of the school aged population. In 2017, the program spent USD 5.3 million (PHP 273,481 million) or 0.05% of the 2017 education budget.
The Madrasah Education Program: is implemented in elementary public schools with at least 15 Muslim students and in private madaris. In 2013, there were 1.2 million (3.24% of the school-aged population) Muslim students who were enrolled in elementary and secondary education. In 2017, the government spent USD 16.5 million (PHP 840.7 million) or 0.12% of the education sector.
Special Education: This program includes activities such as learner development activities, training, educational visits, camp activities, sports, learning participation, etc. In 2011, the Ministry of Education allocated funding support for 345 elementary SPED centers and for 153 secondary schools with SPED programs. In 2013, government elementary schools enrolled 110,169 students with disabilities and 84,232 were enrolled in high schools. In 2017, the Ministry of Education allocated USD 193.9 million (PHP 9.8 billion)or 1.98% of the education budget to Co-curricular and Special Learning Support Program Development.
Replacing the Education Voucher System (EVS), this program provides financial assistance to poor students who have graduated from elementary school to continue their studies in high schools. Each student could receive between USD 127.91 (PHP 6,500) - USD 196.79 (PHP 10,000) per school year. The program targets 1 million students5 every year or 2.62% of the school aged population. In 2014, allocations to this fund represented 3% of government expenses.
Is a need-based scholarship implemented by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) targeted at students whose family’s combined gross income does not exceed USD 6893 (PHP 350,0006). Students receive USD 263 (PHP 12,000) per year for higher education tuition and living expenses. In 2019, it had a budget of USD 20.06 million (PHP 1.19 billion) to fund almost 100,000 students or 0.26% of the school aged population.
This program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), established in 2008, seeks to provide better access to children of poor household (with an income of less than USD 2.15 per day) to primary and secondary education for a period of 5 years or more. The education conditionality requires 85%7 school attendance.
The program gives USD 5.91 (PHP 300) and USD 9.84 (PHP 500) per child in high school for a maximum of 3 children per family. It covers over 4.5 million8 poor households or 4.47% of the total number of households.