Friday, September 24, 2021

Mendoza: Updates worth sharing

The Scribes Corner

SUNDAY last week, Undersecretary of Finance and DepEd Spokesperson Annalyn M. Sevilla issued an official statement on three issues with the most number of queries so that there is a uniform answer to all of the identified concerns. Here is the statement:

Let me share with you some news about the most common queries I got in the past week:

Service Recognition Incentive (SRI) -- In the recent ManCom meeting. Sec Liling (DepEd Secretary Leonor M. Briones) has reiterated the need and urgency to recognize the "services of our teaching and non-teaching positions" by providing the maximum SRI that DepEd funding can provide.

She said that the services that our workforce has done to deliver the blended learning approach is notable/remarkable and should indeed be given recognition.

I presented to the Secretary and ManCom members the criteria and conditions of the Administrative Order to grant SRI and gave the total pooled savings from personnel services (detailed share of regions and Central office to the pool) and the "modified or realigned MOOE funds" that DBM approved through release of SARO. We are just waiting for the share to PS savings of one more region last Friday.

The total "pooled savings" that DepEd can generate shall be EQUALLY/UNIFORMLY shared by all eligible regular employees and is estimated to come up to a uniform rate of 5k to 6k SRI/employee. The final rate shall be determined tomorrow as we get the final total eligible employees for the entire DepEd. The report has been approved by the Secretary and release of downloaded funds for SRI to regions shall start week of Jan 18. All regional finance officers shall be instructed to download same funds to the School Division Offices (SDOs) so this can be distributed to all eligible employees in its jurisdiction.

Salary Increase for FY 2021. Pending the issuance of DBM on the grant of salary increase for 2021. The payroll for January 2021 shall still be the present or existing salary rate (per salary grade and step corresponding to the position as of Dec 2020). Notice of Salary Adjustment (NOSA) to effect the new/increased salary rate shall be processed and issued to each regular employee of DepEd once we receive the official instruction from DBM.

The increase in salary is EFFECTIVE JANUARY 2021, and the salary increase we should receive starting Jan until we are able to release NOSA shall accumulate and become "salary adjustment payable" to employees. The salary adjustment due to each employee shall be given once there are instruction and funding cover from DBM. We should understand that there are processes for salary increase to take effect and pay at the beginning of the year.

Usec. Sevilla emphasized that the increase in salary is an assured benefit as approved in the budget law for 2021, we are just waiting for the circular and official instruction from DBM.

Performance Based Bonus (PBB) 2019. Evaluation of the 2019 PBB eligibility of DepEd is still ongoing by the AO25 Task Force (DepEd is not the one granting PBB). Per latest update we got, there is high probability that DepEd will be eligible for the PBB 2019. We are hoping that all (including the non-teaching positions) will be eligible for the grant.

Once there is an announcement from AO25 TF that DepEd is eligible for the PBB 2019, DBM will release the PBB fund to each corresponding DepEd Regional Office that has complete and validated PBB documents. The fund and release of PBB shall not anymore pass through DepEd CO, it will go straight to our DepEd ROs for processing and release.

Usec. Sevilla provided additional information on things that DepEd has been doing/negotiating as soon as AO 37 was issued. She said that there is continuing negotiation with oversight agencies to allow DepEd to reach the allowable maximum rate of 10k/employee. Letter to DBM to allow each region or division to be treated as an "agency" so it can pay the difference of "initial SRI" versus max 10k can be allowed (if RO/SDO has enough savings to cover it). We also sought assistance to extend grant of SRI beyond 2020 timeline, to identify more fund sources; and to also find other funds available outside DepEd. Though Php 6,190 will already be received, there is still hope that the maximum 10K can still be given even at the end of 2021.


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