Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

President of the Republic of the Philippines 2001 - 2010



Since the day the President took office, she has remained focused on three areas: 1) bringing power and growth to each region and decongesting Manila; 2) promoting the importance of the three E's- education, the economy and the environment to create sustainable and equitable development; and lastly 3) continuous focus on the youth of our nation as our best hope for a brighter, better Philippines.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the 14th President of the Republic of the Philippines, has placed education in the front seat of her development thrusts. She has underscored that "…education is the foundation of economic prosperity and individual liberty, justice and self-worth… and education is the key to our next generation… to get ahead…get a good job …"

The 21st century ushers in a world where knowledge is the key to sustained economic growth and improvements in human well-being (World Bank, 1998-99). Knowledge is inexhaustible, the more it is used, the more it becomes valuable. The Filipino nation can take advantage of the opportunities created by technology by developing a globally competitive human resource. That is why the Arroyo administration has invested so much in education and training. Investment in knowledge can increase the productive capacity of the other factors of production as well as transform them into new products and processes. And since these knowledge investments are characterized by increasing (rather than decreasing) returns, they are the key to long-term economic growth. (OECD Report, 1996)

1.1. The Presidential Task Force for Education

The Arroyo Administration's economic plan centers on putting people first, as her first and foremost aim is to help the hardworking, ordinary Filipino. This is in the context that "education is a core value of Philippine society and family life. It is the foundation of economic prosperity and individual liberty, justice and self-worth. The hardworking men and women of this country put family first, and the best gift any family can give to a child, as well as the best gift any nation can give to its people is access to a good education."

The Philippine Education System, however, is trifocalized under the management of the three education agencies: DepEd, CHED and TESDA. In this regard President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo deemed it necessary to improve the quality of Philippine education with the harmonization and synchronization of all efforts of the three education agencies (DepEd, CHED and TESDA) towards one primary goal, by establishing the Presidential Task Force for Education which led to the expansion of leadership in flat base decision-making through the collaboration of the government and the private sector. The members include the three Cabinet Secretaries of the three education agencies, the Presidential Adviser for Education, and the Secretary of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), representing the Government. The private sector representatives include the private academic representative who chairs the PTFE, two others coming from the private academic sector with COCOPEA, one from the industry sector and one economist.

Compared to the previous process practiced by the NCCE (National Coordinating Council in Education), wherein the responsibility was given solely to the rotating Chair, the decision-making became more efficient having all the 11 members representing their respective sectors, including the PA for Education who is mandated "to continue the task of coordinating efforts and programs of all education agencies" (E.O. 632, 2007 and EO 781, 2009), gathered in one venue en banc, working together to discuss fast action on cross-cutting matters and offer relevant solutions to produce a globally competitive human resource.

The PTFE was mandated to:

  • assess, Plan and Monitor the entire Educational System
  • urecommend policy reforms, guidelines and strategies to further strengthen the role of education in accelerating national development and global competitiveness
  • design the monitoring scheme for the implementation of reforms as updated in the MTPDP under the Arroyo administration
  • provide direction for the establishment of the National Educational Evaluation and Testing Systems

The PTFE began by diagnosing the perennial problems haunting the education system, through a series of multi-sectoral consultative meetings. Previous efforts and scientific studies done by EDCOM, PCER and other earlier studies as far back as the Monroe Survey in 1925 were acknowledged, reviewed, reconciled, and included in the assessment of the entire Philippine Education System. The President, who up to this time has been hands-on in her governance, has presided six consultative meetings of the PTFE. She has been consistently focused on leveling the playing field, strong academe-industry linkage, quality assurance, improving the competencies and effectiveness of teachers, granting scholarships to poor and deserving students of courses which are needed by the economy, and the over-all qualitative improvement of the entire educational system.

On January 31-February 1, 2008, the PTFE conducted the First Biennial National Congress on Education per EO 652 and upon the directive of the President to find solutions, right the wrongs, and start implementing the needed change in the education system. Of which the President's statement in 2005 - that "knowledge is a crucial element for nations to prosper and compete by putting primacy to quality and accessible lifelong learning, from early childhood development to primary, secondary and tertiary learning…" the conceptualization of the "Philippine Main Education Highway" came to being.

It has been further concurred by the education stakeholders (school administrators, teachers, parents, students, media) present in the First Biennial National Congress on Education that the prevailing concerns and needs of our present education system are as follows:

  • Improving the quality of basic education, increase the student's achievement, and improve retention rate towards a zero drop-out rate.
  • Improving teacher competencies and a continuous faculty development.
  • Harmonizing the technical, vocational and higher education systems.
  • Tightening higher education-industry linkage to achieve a better match between the requirements of industry and the skills/competencies acquired by students.
  • Upgrading and updating of professional licensure examinations to respond to the continuing rapid changes in the practice of professions.
  • Improving the management, regulatory and coordination issues of the three education agencies of government.
  • Improving financial assistance to private education and budgetary appropriations to SUCs.

The first report of the PTFE summarizing the various recommendations and action plans which was the result of the series of diagnostic reviews/consultations done by the Presidential Task Force on Education (PTFE), created under EO No. 652, s. 2007, and the 1st National Biennial Congress on Education last January 31 and February 1, 2008 was presented to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and the Cabinet last December 09, 2008. This led to the formulation of the unified framework for Education… the Philippine Main Education Highway.

Consequently, President Arroyo issued Executive Order No. 781 titled: "Adopting the Recommendations and Action Plans of the Presidential Task Force for Education" in support of the implementation of the Philippine Main Education Highway. The Philippine Main Education Highway is the Roadmap towards a Knowledge- Based Economy that is envisioned to keep all Filipino students in the education stream from pre-school to tertiary education.

"As a final note, our agenda, aligned with the President's vision, is a developed and modernized Philippines in twenty years or less. This aspiration makes it all the more imperative for the Philippines to critically assess how far it has gone and how much farther it has to go in the face of challenges and opportunities in the field of education and human resource development. Let us all link our hands for education, moving as one community to raise the bar of excellence for our country and people."

Fr. Ben Nebres, Chairman, PTFE, 2008

1.2 The Office of the PA for Education

The President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has created the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Education as early as 2001 to perform the task of "national coordination, monitoring and assessment of the entire Philippine Educational System operating and/or managed under a trifocalized system. In July 10, 2007, she issued EO 632, formally amended EO 273 (series of 2000) that created the National Coordinating Council for Education (NCCE) by transferring its functions to the a Presidential Assistant to assess, plan and monitor the entire educational system.

And she further strengthened the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Education (OPAE) to continue the task of coordinating the efforts and programs of all educational agencies by issuing EO 781 on February 09, 2009. OPAE is a strategic actor in the harmonized implementation of the Philippine Main Education Highway in pursuit of national development and global competitiveness.

Specifically, the Office of the PA for Education serves as the coordinating and support mechanism, implementing follow-through activities of the PTFE, which include holding of trans-subsectoral fora, initiating consultations nationwide and strengthening linkages between the academe and industry, among others, as part of harmonization and synchronized implementation of cross-cutting policies and programs that would further optimize the utilization of resources and to position the Philippines as a knowledge center in the Asia-Pacific.

1.3. The Philippine Main Education Highway

The Philippine Main Education Highway sets the direction for charting the future of this country's development as it fulfills the dream of the majority of Filipino families na makaahon sa kahirapan and have all of the young people succeed in moving through a seamless education, starting in pre-school, through primary, secondary education, post-secondary education, and going to either technical vocational or the university, and for some, even graduate studies (Masters and PhDs), with the end result of having a productive career and a good future.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo launched the Philippine Main Education Highway to make the education sector more globally competitive, signaling the implementation of major key educational reforms to attain the vision of the President of the Philippines of becoming ready for the first world in 20 years.

The Education Highway is the blueprint for putting the country on a faster road to a robust, knowledge-based economy. It envisions every Filipino child to be assured of the opportunity to get a high quality education that leads "to becoming a whole person … and a productive and responsible citizen." It incorporates two major elements – tighter linkage of tertiary education with industry, and provision of lifelong learning mechanisms and interventions.

General goals of the Philippine Main Education Highway:

  • Getting all children to school: improving participation rate
  • Keeping all children in school: improving retention rate
  • Getting all children to finish elementary: improving primary completion rate and achieving the millennium development goals for primary education
  • Increasing graduation from high school: improving HS completion rate
  • Improving Achievement: increasing scores in-
  • The Grade 6 National Achievement Test (NAT)
  • The Second Year HS NAT and
  • The 4th Year HS NCAE (academic, technical and entrepreneurship portions)
  • Improving the match and linkage between post-secondary education and training, technical and academic, and the needs of industry and entrepreneurship building structures to link post-secondary institutions and industry and entrepreneurship
  • Increasing international competitiveness of Philippine education and industry; benchmarking towards international recognition of Philippine professional and academic degrees and technical qualifications

The Southeast Asian Centre for Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development (SEA-CLLSD)

In addition, and in line with the President's emphasis "on quality and accessible lifelong learning", the President supported the establishment of the Southeast Asian Centre for Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development (SEA-CLLSD) and its transformation into a Centre under the auspices of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The Philippine proposal for SEA-CLLSD was approved unanimously by the 35th General Conference of UNESCO in November 2009.

The objectives of the Centre are to be a service provider, standard setter, and a research and resource management centre in the field of lifelong learning for sustainable development. Covering all ten ASEAN member-countries and Timor-Leste, the Centre marks the leadership of the Philippines on lifelong learning in the entire Southeast Asian region.


As an overview, in support of the President's vision, DepEd introduced the Revised Basic Education Curriculum in 2001 which required, among others, competency-based assessment (as opposed to transmutation of grades), and formulated a radical reform agenda in 2005 known as Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda (BESRA). This reform agenda or BESRA was envisaged at providing a sound policy environment that will lay the foundation for attaining the aspirations of the Education Highway and the Millennium Development Goals 2015. TESDA and CHED reinvigorated the ladderized system of education to improve quality and relevance, and further rationalized linkages between and amongst stakeholders concerned with the country's manpower demand and supply.

A strategic step employed by the President was to use the budget to attain all these objectives. Noteworthy are the substantial increases in the education budget to enable the three educational agencies to fast track implementation of their respective regular innovative programs and/or projects, including those identified by the Presidential Task Force for Education.

The Goals for each sub-education sector:

1.4.1. Early Childhood Development Education

  • Expand present ECCD coverage to reach all 5-year olds
  • Adopt the Standard School Readiness Assessment to determine the readiness of 5 year olds to enter Grade 1
  • Review and amend the ECCD Law
  • Implement Early Childhood Education in Teacher Education curricula
  • Provide health and nutrition services as part of daycare, pre-school, elementary and high school
  • Implementation of the Standardized Curriculum as perEO 685.

1.4.2. Basic Education

  • Close the gap
  • Build 6,000 classrooms a year
  • Adopt Double Shift Classes
  • Expand Service Subcontracting/Provide Scholarship for Students to Study in Private High Schools
  • Install Distance Learning in Conflict Areas
  • Provide Computers in Every High School
  • Upgrade Math, Science, and English
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Institutionalize Values Formation in Day Care, Prep and Basic Education
  • Strengthen Madrasah and Indigenous Peoples Education
  • Upgrade the Quality of Pre- and In-service Training of TeachersM
  • Promote School-based Management and Governance
  • Rationalize the Basic Education Budget through more collaborative partnership with the private sector

1.4.3. Technical Vocational Education and Training

  • Ladderized Interface of TVET to Higher Education
  • Provide Scholarship for TVET Students
  • Institutionalize Job-Skill Matching
  • Intensify and Expand Enterprise-based Training
  • Intensify Availability of Skill-specific Training for domestic and overseas labor market
  • Establish Community Colleges

1.4.4. Higher Education

  • Provide Scholarship/Financial Assistance for College Students
  • Institutionalize Pre-baccalaureate as Bridging Program to College
  • Institutionalize a System for Articulation/ Recognition of Prior Learning within the Philippine National Qualifications Framework thru Ladderization and Equivalency
  • Upgrade the Quality of Higher Education Curriculum
  • Rationalize Governance and Financing for Higher Education Institutions

1.5. Investment In Education

"Education, to raise the quality of our public school system, remains as a top priority in my development agenda. It shall continue to receive the highest allocation among the items in the social services sector. Alongside our investments on infrastructure, we are investing in education to provide the necessary public goods that are keys to private investments." -PGMA Budget message for 2008 Budget

The budget being the main tool in moving education towards achieving the kind of education we want to provide to all Filipino youth, the Arroyo Administration invested heavily on education. From less than P100 billion before 2001, the combined budgets of the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) more than doubled in the 2010 budget.

The Arroyo Administration believes that a large amount of investment must be put in education to achieve the most difficult UN Millennium Development Goal of Universal Primary Education by 2015. The challenge is so great that almost no country will achieve that goal, except for Cuba which practices minor dictatorship. Nonetheless, the Arroyo Administration is committed to doing its best to lay the basis for achieving Universal Primary Education for the Philippines by 2015.

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DBM reports that the "total budget of the education sector for 2010 is P235.2 billion, 87.6 percent more than the corresponding sectoral allocation of P125.4 billion in 2002. The budget of the education sector comprises the bulk (49.0 percent) of the P479.9 billion budget for the social services sector and represents 15.0 percent of the total National Government Budget."

Since the start of Arroyo Administration in 2001, DepED has been getting the lion's share (84%) of the total budget of the entire education sector. These budgets are translated into priority programs and projects that will make quality of education better. Aside from its regular budget, DepED has also been getting a substantial push from the private sector through the Adopt-A-School Program and ODA. Not to be left out are the schools which actively participated in improving education quality through the implementation of Standards and Framework for School-Based Management. This enabled principals to formulate their own school improvement plans, and to directly receive and spend their school operating budgets. To date, some 70% of public elementary schools have been receiving and spending their budgets in cash, in support of school improvement.

The President's commitment to education is made very apparent by the radical increases in education budgets for the last 10 years. Plotted in the graph above are the budget trend lines of DepEd, TESDA, CHED, the SUCs and that of the 4Ps (Pantawid Pampamilyang Pilipino Program). The basic education budget trend is just concrete evidence of the Arroyo Administration's fulfillment of the Constitutional mandate for free elementary and secondary education.

Basic education budget got an aggregate of almost P1.3 trillion pesos from the national government alone in ten years time as described in the table below. But, a lot more contributions came from the private sector of P22B, comprising the Special Education Fund of P66B managed by the LGUs and the ODA of P211B from international donors. There is no doubt about the overwhelming infusion of support to help attain the aspirations of Education for All in the President's Development Agenda for Education.

The Arroyo Administration has been pushing for higher education budget despite government financial difficulties. From 2005 to 2008, the GDP share of education sector budget is above 2%. With the competing priorities of government particularly in stimulating economic activity, the government was able to protect the level of share of education budget against GDP.

1.7. Priority Investment and Gains

1.7.1. Promoted Teacher Education, Welfare and Benefits

Under the Administration of President Arroyo, the entry level salary of teachers increased from P9,466 to P14,198, making it at par with leading private schools and even better than most private schools in the country. The dramatic rise in the salaries of Master Teachers from 2000 to 2009 is notable. This is good news because DepEd is now in a better position to select the best and the brightest amongst qualified graduates of teacher education institutes.

This development is further supported with the on-going implementation of the Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda (BESRA) through the adoption of the National Competency-Based Teacher Standards (NCBTS) which rationalizes pre-service, hiring, promotion and training of teachers.

Upon instructions by the President, DepEd moved to clean up the Automatic Payroll Deduction System by requiring lenders to adopt lower interest rates if they want payments for their loans to be deducted automatically from teachers' salaries by DepEd, and to submit to re-accreditation process to weed out unscrupulous, fly-by-night companies that prey on teachers, in order to protect the net take home pay of teachers. Before 2001, teachers were charged usurious rates (76%-108%) whenever they contract loans from private lenders. But now, the rates range from 10.9%- 12% + 6% for other charges, with 24% the effective interest rate. This development makes interest charges on teachers' loans more 'humane' and reasonable.

The President also ordered the expansion of the coverage for Hardship Pay to include mobile teachers, NFE coordinators and multi-grade teachers that do most of the difficult ways of delivering education to disadvantaged groups in the country. Hardship allowance assured our unsung heroes of relatively good pay compared with regular teachers. The president also ordered the increase of the chalk allowance of teachers from P300 in 2001 to P700 in 2009. Likewise, the computerized elections are now estimated to require only some 229,000 teachers, versus the 500,000 teachers needed in the past, which is seemed cost effective if managed properly.

A housing project for teachers was also offered to teachers in public schools under soft terms, initially in Camarines Norte, Cebu, and Davao. Negotiations are on-going for a similar project in Bukidnon and other potential areas where the support of local executives is overwhelming. The project aims to provide shelter to teachers which is at par with the housing being offered to private employees.

With the continued advocacy of DepED and with the concurrence from the President, the rendition of election and related duties of teachers became optional, and free legal assistance is now provided for election-related cases of teachers. Further, their honoraria increased from P1,000 in 2001 to P6,300 in 2010 (P4,300 honoraria plus P2,000 for training/development). Teachers are normally caught in the middle of political legal battles of candidates after election. Teachers are accused of wrong doing by losing candidates which has caused trauma to some teachers. With the continued advocacy of DepEd to promote the value of a clean, honest, peaceful and orderly election, the public school teachers were inspired to serve as members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) with utmost professionalism and efficiency; thereby creating an atmosphere of calm and stability in the precincts. The success of the First Historic Automated National Elections in 2010 can be greatly attributed to the commitment and dedication of the teachers who served as members of the BEIs. The Automated Election is included in the 10-point Agenda, BEAT THE ODDS, of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

1.7.2. Provided More Opportunities for Professional Growth Training Programs for Teachers

The President gave much premium to the professional and personal growth of teachers. Large sums of training funds have been provided during the Arroyo Administration from 2005 to 2010, aggregating to P4.4B, which took care of the retooling of 370,000 teachers in English, Science and Math on one hand, and the other learning areas on the other, covering both content and pedagogy for formal system and andragogy for Alternative Learning System:

  • 180,979 teachers have been trained in English, Math, Science and other core areas
  • 72,064 teachers have undertaken Certificate Programs in English
  • 7,446 teachers have undertaken Certificate Programs in Science and Math
  • 101,469 teachers have undertaken training in English, Math, Science and other core areas.
  • 7,322 have undertaken the Madrasah – ALIVE Program

Under the Key Reform Thrust for Teacher and Development under BESRA, DepED has seriously rationalized the system for teacher development which starts from pre-service education, recruitment, deployment, in-service training and promotion of teachers. The system is now governed by the National Competency-Based Teacher Standards (NCBTS) that promotes teachers' best interests. Faculty Development.

On the tertiary level, a total of 3,128 faculty scholars were trained with a total cost of P1.16B from 2004-2009. Average budget spent per faculty is Php344,089.00. In 2009, tertiary faculty population totalled 129,979. Data shows that majority or 55% (72,153) of those who teach have bachelor's degree, 35% have master's degree (45,156) and 10% (12,670) have doctorate degree. These figures show improvement over the 2000-2001 figures of 26.14% with masters and 8.28% with PhD.

Faculty development program, tertiary level

PGMA Scholarships Program

A total of 1.2 million secondary students benefited from the PGMA Education Vouchers System (EVS) and Education Service Contracting (ESC) under the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE). This was made possible by the release of P22.3B budget for the purpose. The number of grantees doubled from 394,803 in 2005 to 720,031 in 2010, and the number of beneficiaries represented almost one-half of the estimated private high school enrolment. Moreover, the cost of tuition subsidy per grantee increased from P2,500 in 2001, to P4,000 in 2003, to P5,000 in 2008, except for NCR where it was further ramped up to P10,000 in view of the high cost of tuition and other charges in NCR schools.

GASTPE ESC/EVS Grantees, 2001-2010

A new window of support opened up by the Arroyo Administration in SY 2009-2010 was the grant of salary subsidy to teachers in private schools handling ESC classes. An amount of P250 per grantee was given to qualified teachers to help alleviate their economic plight, and prevent them from migrating to nearby public schools.

The President extended scholarships to close to 2 million beneficiaries, both students and teachers alike. For students, a total of 1.8 million high school and college students benefited from government's assistance. Total expenditures aggregated to almost P16 billion. For GASTPE alone which provides tuition subsidy to students in private high schools for 4 straight years if they don't fail their subjects, their number represents about one-half of total private high school enrolment.

Combining the magnitude of the Arroyo Administration investment in training and Development with the scholarships in the entire education sector (DepED, TESDA, CHED and DOST), a total of 32.8 billion pesos has been invested in the training of a little over 2 million students and teacher beneficiaries.

The Arroyo Administration through CHED has provided scholarships to 636,581 college students for the last nine years (AY 2001/02 to AY 2009/10) with a total expenditure of P6.5 billion. Of these beneficiaries, 163,521 is directly attributed to the PGMA scholarships initiatives with a total of P1.8 billion in financial benefit

In the area of technical-vocational education and training, the President has allocated a total of PhP 8.07 billion for the Pangulong Gloria Scholarships from 2006 to 2009 and about 1 million students benefited from the program and enabled them to equipped with employable skills.

These magnitudes only confirm that the President's total commitment to manpower and professional development is paramount. Huge number of students and teachers have benefited from her dedication to harness the human capital of this country through education.

1.9. Addressed Crucial Resources for Teaching and Learning

The Arroyo Administration infused more resources to public schools to improve access to and quality of basic education.

The following chart shows the magnitude of investments made by the President to arrest resource shortages in the public schools. From a low of P6.6 billion in 2000, the investments rose to P24 billion this year, or an almost four-fold increase. In the case of classroom construction, the President's support for Principal-led construction of classrooms resulted in the early completion of structures and their early utilization by students.

i) Classrooms. A total of 115,783 new classrooms were built during the Arroyo's administration, way beyond what was targeted for the period. This became possible with the adoption of the pump-priming strategy by the President, as well as the support extended to Principal-led construction of school buildings. On top of these aggressive measures, the President directly supported private schools and granted PTFE's recommendation for public schools to tap private school classrooms, whenever feasible.

ii) Principals and Teacher Items. In support of school based management approach under BESRA, the Arroyo Administration invested heavily on creating teacher principal items to enable schools to manage their own funds. A total of 75,172 Teacher I items and 9,652 Principal I and Head Teacher Items were provided from 2001 to 2009. Likewise, DepEd was able to keep within manageable levels the teacher-pupil ratio of 1:36 for elementary, and 1:49 for secondary, despite increasing enrollments.

iii) Distributed Textbooks and Teachers' Manuals. There is now a 1:1 pupil to textbook ratio in 29 elementary and secondary subjects, which was made possible by providing schoolchildren with 154.5 million copies of textbooks nationwide.

iv) Computers –Under the DepEd Computerized Program, 5,396 out of the 6,650 secondary schools have already been provided with computer laboratories. The President expects to close the gap by early 2010.

In the 26th Cabinet Meeting held last 10 March 2009, Malacañang directed DepEd and CICT to ensure 100% connectivity in all public schools located in the Cyber Corridor, as well as to ensure that the national high schools situated in the capital of each province outside the Cyber Corridor get connected within the year. This directive was intensified in the 32nd Cabinet Meeting on 11 August 2009 for DepEd and CICT to fast track implementation to ensure the internet connectivity of computers in public high schools to be completed at the end of the CY2009. 1,884 high schools were connected in 7 months bringing to a total of 3,820 the number of high schools connected, out of 6,650 HS. The remaining 2,830 will be connected by 30 June 2010, through the installation of satellite connections.

Summary of DepEd Internet Connectivity Report (DICP) as of March 4, 2010


v) Water and Sanitation Facilities – The aggressive stance of the Arroyo administration to provide WATSAN facilities was due to the fact that sanitation and hygiene directly affect academic and co-curricular performance of students. The provision of WATSAN is also a preventive measure for the potential occurrences of illnesses due to absence of standard hygiene and sanitation facilities in some public schools. A total of 6,804 new WATSAN units were constructed while 326 have been repaired/rehabilitated, this in line with the requirement for Water and Sanitation.

vi) School Feeding and Food for School Program. – Iron deficiency and prevalence of malnutrition are culprits in the low performance of students in priority areas. To address the problem, the Arroyo Administration thru DepED and other line agencies infused large amounts of money for the program. A total of 2,781,940 pupils in 2008 in preschool and elementary levels benefited from the implementation of the School Feeding Program and the Food for School Program. These programs cater to pre-schoolers & Grades 1-6 in the food-poor priority areas/provinces.

Pupil-Room ratio, Pupil-Teacher Ratio and Pupil-Seating Ratio have been maintained from 2002 to 2009, despite ballooning enrolment every year. The feeding operations have significantly reduced the proportion of pupils with below normal nutritional status from 29% in 2002 to 16% in 2009. The number of schools with 3 or 4 class shifts of 338 in 2002, has been reduced to 121 in 2009. The percentage of schools without school heads has been reduced from 48% in 2004 to 28% in 2009 in view of the provision of more principals and school head items. These results do not paint a very rosy picture yet, but these confirm government's desire to protect basic education especially, from the ill effects of increasing population and a fluctuating national economy.

With huge investment in education particularly on providing crucial resources, DepED has achieved manageable levels of key education ratios which make the teaching and learning process more conducive and comfortable. The proportion of malnutrition incidence has dropped dramatically from 29% in 2002 to 16% in 2009. There is a substantial reduction in the number of barangays without access to elementary education, from 1,617 in 2001 to 227 in 2008, and in the number of municipalities without access to high school education, from 43 in 2001 to 1 in 2008. The remaining one municipality, Poona Piagapo, is believed to be experiencing peace and order problems which prevents DepEd from building a school there.

The DepEd regional and division offices in charge of Poona Piagapo plan to put up a school there next year.

For the remaining 227 school-less barangays, the problem that hindered DepEd from establishing schools in these areas was the lack of sites for school purposes. We have been coordinating with the LGUs concerned in this regard. Moreover, schools offering 3 shifts have been reduced radically due to the huge amount provided for the construction of new classrooms and the expansion of GASTPE program. The table below summarizes the net impact of all interventions and investments made to education.