Senate gives P209M budget for PSA’s literacy rate polls
THE Senate Committee on Finance has approved the proposal to increase the budget for the of the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) Functional Literacy, Education, and Mass Media Survey (FLEMMS), a nationwide household-based survey that gathers information on basic and functional literacy rates and educational skills qualifications.
The 2024 appropriation for the FLEMMS under the Senate committee version is now at P208.97 million, or 245.3 percent higher than the P58.9 million requested by Malacañang in its National Expenditure Program (NEP) and the proposed 2024 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) approved by the House of Representatives.
The recommendation to increase the budget for the PSA literary survey was made by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, who is the chairperson of the Committee on Basic Education.
Gatchalian originally sought an additional P160 million for the implementation of the FLEMMS next year when the proposed 2024 PSA budget was tackled in the Senate plenary last week, pointing out the need to make the data more realistic by bringing the household survey to the city level.
“This will help the Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM II) to identify areas where we have high literacy rates so we can launch programs that will improve education outcomes in those places,” he said.
EDCOM II is a national commission tasked to undertake a comprehensive national assessment and evaluation of the performance of the Philippine education sector.
Gatchalian also suggested that the FLEMMS be conducted more often, noting that the last time it was done was in 2019, which was only the sixth since such survey started in 1989.
National Statistician Dr. Dennis Mapa said the PSA board will explore the possibility of conducting the FLEMMS more regularly, adding that conducting it every three years could be a reasonable option.