Espino eyes to amend free school supply ordinance

Espino eyes to amend free school supply ordinance

Bacolod City Councilor Al Victor Espino, chairperson of the City Council committee on education, is now eyeing to amend City Ordinance No. 09-16-787 or an Ordinance providing free education materials to all students of public elementary schools, to increase the allocated budget from P15 million to 30 million.

Espino said yesterday that based on the approved ordinance in 2016, which was authored by former councilor Caesar Distrito, the city allocated P15 million for this program.

He said he would file an ordinance modifying the amount to be attuned to the times, adding that it’s already an eight-year-old ordinance.

Espino noted that he will file the ordinance on the next ordinance day of the City Council to increase its budget from P15 million to P30 million.

Espino said this year, the Local School Board (LSB) of Bacolod City already approved a total funding of P30 million for free school supplies to all public elementary students in the city.

He said that they can now use the Special Education Fund (SEF) to purchase school supplies for this coming school year 2024-2025.

He added the procurement process was already signed by Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez and they are expecting that by the second week of the school year, they can distribute the school materials.

Espino said they will also ask the Department of Education (DepEd)-Bacolod to submit the total lists of elementary students this school year.

He said in 2023, they failed to distribute free school supplies due to a lack of budget and the prices of the school materials also increased and they were not allowed to use the SEF.

“ So this year, we can utilize the SEF for the free school supplies for our grade school students,” he added.

In 2022, the city distributed free school supplies to at least 72,000 students from preschool to Grade 6.

The city distributed composition notebooks, crayons, popsicle sticks, glue, a long transparent plastic envelope, writing notebooks, writing pads, a ruler, a sharpener, intermediate pads, and a ballpen./MAP.

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