The Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday said it has already processed vouchers worth P3.95 billion for the government's Senior High School Voucher Program (SHS VP).
The amount will benefit 607,208 voucher program beneficiaries (VPBs), who may continue their Grade 11 education at their school of choice.
The SHS VP gives Grade 10 students the opportunity to study in non-DepEd, SHS VP participating schools by providing financial assistance through voucher subsidy.
As of School Year 2016 to 2017, students may study in institutions such as private high schools, colleges, and universities; local universities and colleges (LUC); state universities and colleges (SUCs); and technical and vocational schools.
The DepEd has processed a total of P5.23 billion for the SHS VP, with actual payments amounting to P3.95 billion or 75 percent of billing statements received by the DepEd Central Office (CO) from schools as of December 31, 2016.
Technical difficulties encountered by schools "in the generation of billing statements" held up the submission of a bulk of statements from schools from the first quarter to the fourth quarter of 2016, the DepEd said.
Payments made through vouchers are processed two months upon the school's submission of billing statements with complete documents, per DepEd Order No. 46, series of 2015 and DepEd Order No. 38, series of 2016.
The Voucher Management System (VMS) allows schools to check the status of their submissions online.
The DepEd assured SHS VP participating schools that they will immediately receive billing statements upon receipt on a "first-come, first-served basis".
"Rest assured that the Department is doing its best to facilitate the payments in a more timely and efficient manner," the DepEd said in a statement on Tuesday. — Rie Takumi/MDM, GMA News