THE delivery of basic services to the public is essential to sustain the mandate of a government agency assigned to various sectors in the society. Underspending is one major loophole that delayed this task.
Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones pointed out that the DepEd has made significant measures in solving it, though not yet complete, the underutilization of its budget.
During the Senate Committee on Finance (Subcommittee D) hearing, the Secretary admitted that while improvement is underway, Deped still has its share of underspending. The Secretary also enumerated the Department’s continuous efforts in reforming its internal procedures to judiciously allocate and spend its annual fund.
The Education Chief said the Department is now recovering from the decline in utilization in 2015. To improve DepEd’s absorptive capacity, the following financial reforms are being implemented: Entrustment of executive leads to champion Disbursement and Accounting, Budget and Performance Monitoring, Administration, and Procurement to efficiently utilize human and financial resources; Education Programs Delivery Unit to facilitate faster programs delivery and budget utilization, as well as address bottlenecks, challenges, and constraints; Creation of five Bids and Awards Committees to fast-track procurement of education inputs
Other measures are: Calibration of budget and accounting skills of Central and field personnel through Financial Management Operations Training; Faster feedback mechanism with Regional Directors on fund releases and procurement challenges; Mid-year review of procurement plans to push for continuation of implementation, especially for big ticket programs of 2016-2017, Streamlined downloading of funds (without waiting for Resolution to Award), Use of Work and Financial Plan-based activity request in place of the long process of authority to conduct and Monitoring of financial reforms mainly for all regions and ongoing programs
The Secretary through her financial experts said that ore improvements in terms of budget planning, execution, and reporting shall be put in place considering the national fiscal calendar and Budget Reform Bill in the context of the same year delivery challenge
With the support expressed by legislators to help Deped curb roadblocks in operation and catch up with budget spending through the possible amendment of several laws that include the following: Government Procurement Reform Act; Book Publishing Industry Development Act; Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines; Magna Carta for Public School Teachers; Governance of Basic Education Act of 2001; Guidance and Counselling Act of 2004; Expanded Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education Act; and Granting Priority to Residents of the Barangay, Municipality or City Where the School is Located, in the Appointment or Assignment of Classroom Public School Teachers.
This Corner hopes that with this development, everything will be ironed out to better serve the DepEd clienteles.
Director’s Cut: (This portion features the thoughts of Lawyer Alberto Escobarte, CESO IV, Regional Director, DepEd-Davao to all stakeholders and recipients of the efforts to improve the basic education). "Let me assure you that in the performance of my official duties and even my private acts will be guided and guarded by my Oath of Office, The Panunumpa ng Kawani ng Gobyerno, the Philippine Constitution and all the laws that govern our actions.”
You can access DepEd Updates, latest issuances, photos and other relevant information through our website: http://www.deped.gov.ph and our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Deped.Philippines/. For queries, complains and other concerns for the different schools divisions email them to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on September 25, 2017.
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