Home NATIONWIDE 19K ‘ghost students’ natuklasan ng Senado sa SHS voucher program ng DepEd

19K ‘ghost students’ natuklasan ng Senado sa SHS voucher program ng DepEd

MANILA, Philippines – Natuklasan ng Senado ang mahigit 19,000 ghost students undocumented beneficiaries sa senior high school ng Department of Education (DepEd) na binabayaran ng gobyerno sa pamamagitan ng voucher program sa ilalim ng Expanded Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education Act (E-GASTPE).

Sa pagpapatuloy ng imbestigasyon ng Senate committee on basic education sa pamumuno ni Senador Sherwin Gatchalian hinggil sa implementasyon ng E-GASTPE alinsunod sa audit report ng Commission on Audit (COA) para sa 2016 hanggang 2017.

Ayon kay Gatchalian, natuklasan sa audit report ng COA na may ilang inisyal na 115 Senior High School Voucher Program (SHSVP) beneficiaries na ikinonsiderang ghost students dahil nabayaran sa ilalim ng program nang higit sa isang beses sa katulad ng school year.

Sa kanyang testimonya sa pagdinig, sinabi ni COA Supervising Auditor Imelda Celso na ikinokonsiderang ghost students ang natuklasan dahil hindi malinaw na naipaliwanag ang kanyang absence sa paaralan, may naitalang estudyante naman sa espisikong paaralan ngunit sa ibang kampus nag-aral; nakalista na naka-enroll pero hindi dumalo sa klase simula ng semester, may ilang beses na nakalista sa ilalim ng parehong paaralan o ibang junior high school.

Kahit nilinaw ng COA na may ilan na hindi “ghost students” per se dahil sa pagkakamali sa monitoring ng listahan ng benepisaryo, iginiit ni Gatchalian na dahil isa itong refund para sa kanilang binayaran, puwede itong ikonsiderang ghost students.

“The mere fact there are refunds, then there are ghost students. If you think if you admit to a refund then that means you admit that there is something wrong, whether a ghost student, a clerical error or an administrative error, then there is something wrong,” ayon kay Gatchalian

Sinabi naman nin Celso na nakatakdang suriin ng COA ang ganitong kaso simula sa yugtong 2016 hanggang 2018 at magbibigay ng opinion kung intensiyunal upang lokohin ang gobyerno.

Ipinakita ni Gatchalian ang isang report mula sa Private Education Assistance Committee (PEAC) at tinukoy bilang halimbawa ang isang paaralan na may P80 milyon na singilin at hiwalay na P68 milyon at ikatlo naman ay P14 milyon.

“How did it reach this big? Because if it is one transfer, maybe administrative error, I would assume it would run to hundreds… I saw in a PEAC report that we are still expecting P239 million to be refunded,” ayon kay Gatchalian.

“Paano umabot ng P239 million ang ire-refund from the voucher program? And then one school can rack up to P80 million in terms of refund. Ano ito naipon or the magnitude of students?” tanong niya.

Inihayag naman ni PEAC Monitoring and Processing Officer Rodrick Malonzo na sa kaso ng unang paaralan, nabigo itong magbigay ng dokumento na magpapatunay na mayroon silang 4,600 estudyante na nag-aral sa kanilang paaralan.

“We specifically asked for the class records of the VPBs (voucher program beneficiary), the school form 1 which is a DepEd required school form, DepEd school form 2 and their birth certificates. Unfortunately, for majority or for a big portion of their VPBs, they were not able to present any documents during the visit, during the monitoring activity,” ayon kay Malonzo.

Sinabi ni Gatchalian na kung pagsasama-samahin ang PEAC report sa undocumented E-GASTPE beneficiaries, maaaring umabot ito sa 19,000.

Kaya’t mabilis na naitanong ni Gatchalian: “Can I call them literally ghost students?”

Ayon kay Malonzo itinuring nila itong “undocumented VPBs.”

“It’s close to 19,000 undocumented students, tama? So the undocument(ed) can be literally no students eh. Can be. Possible. We don’t know,” ani Gatchalian.

Habang binabanggit ni Gatchalian na kailangan pang magsagawa ng mas malawak na imbestigasyon sa bagay na ito dahil mayroong pagtatangkang magsumite ng fraudulent beneficiaries, binanggit ni Malonzo ang anecdotal reports ng ibang paaralan na “nilalaro” nila ang SHSVP.

“We’ve received anecdotal reports coming from the field that there are schools that are trying to game the voucher program. But with regards to whether the school is, kung sadya ba or hindi, I think for some schools that have less than ten or one out of a hundred VPBs, I think this may be an honest mistake from the school. But when the numbers reach hundreds this is really a significant issue,” Malonzo said.

Samantala, iminungkahi naman ni Department of Education (DepEd) Director III Tara Rama na magkaroon ng panibago o karagdagang antas sa pagbeberipika ng buhay na SHSVP beneficiaries.

“Before we pay, we actually check it or cross-check it with our learners information system and in fact, right now not all billings of private schools were paid because we found out that there’s discrepancy. That’s why we hold po ‘yung payment nila. Only those that billing statements which are in sync with our learners information system, that’s the only payment that we released. The rest po we hold it in the central office and that is only what we did when GASTPE was created,” ayon kay Rama. Ernie Reyes

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