DAVAO CITY (DWDD) – In support of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s directive to fully utilize the budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 within one year, and Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones’s continuous financial reform agenda, the Department of Education (DepEd), through the Office of the Undersecretary for Budget and Performance Monitoring, kicked off the Emergency Regional Conference on FY 2017 Budget Utilization and Program Delivery in Davao City on October 18.
The first cluster, comprised of Regions 10, 11, 12, and Caraga, participated in the initiative spearheaded by Usec. Annalyn Sevilla and presented their respective budget utilization updates vis-a-vis procurement and program implementation bottlenecks, constraints, and challenges (BCCs) that require immediate interventions and action plans.
Sevilla reported that, as of September 15, DepEd has obligated 56% of its P543.19 billion allocation for 2017. “There are only two months left for us, and we have to do something,” the Undersecretary for Budget and Performance Monitoring emphasized.
Among the programs in focus are the Alternative Learning System (ALS); Basic Education Facilities Fund (BEFF); Creation and Filling-up of Positions; Redesigned Technical-Vocational High School Program; School-Based Feeding Program (SBFP); and Textbooks and Instructional Materials.
Immediate interventions for 2017 presented consist of:
– Monitoring of latest procurement timeline of big ticket (Bids and Awards Committee to work double time to ensure successful award of contract by end of 2017)
– Obligation of budget programs before year end (Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education, ALS, Textbooks to DBM, Procurement Service)
– Request and release of SARO “for-later-release” (FLR) programs (BEFF, capital outlay, ALS-Central Office)
– Reminder to implementing units (IUs) to obligate 2017 allotment until end of December 2017 (awarded contracts to be recorded as obligations)
– Inclusion of Budget Utilization Rate (BUR) in performance assessment of DepEd officials and staff
In preparation for 2018 implementation, the following are the immediate interventions that DepEd will do:
– Pre-procurement of activities for FY 2018, short of award starting by end of October 2017
– Early downloading of fund to IUs
– Application of Multi-Year Implemention Guidelines for Big Ticket Items
– Obligation triggers to be more defined and specific; and
– Review of Republic Act 8047 (Book Publishing Industry Development Act) and Volume 5 (Manual of Procedures for the Procurement of Manuscripts for Textbooks and Teacher’s Manuals) for more effective procurement of for instructional materials
Joining Sevilla in Davao were Undersecretary for Administration Alain Pascua, Assistant Secretary for Procurement Revsee Escobedo, Assistant Secretary for ALS G.H. Ambat, regional directors, and assistant regional directors from the Mindanao cluster. The second cluster of the Regional Conference will be held in Cebu on October 20, with Regions 6, 7, 8, 9, and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) as the participants. Regions 1, 2, 3, and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) will comprise the third cluster, while Regions 4-A, 4-B, 5, and the National Capital Region (NCR) will consist the fourth cluster, to be held on October 25 and 30, in Laoag City and Quezon City, respectively.
The Regional Conference was conceptualized following the 6th Management Committee (ManCom) Meeting held last October 6 in Legazpi City, Albay, with the aim of touching base to the Regional and Division Offices to identify specific hindrances and further solutions to underutilization, and promote continuous improvement in the Department’s quality budget spending. DEPED/MCAG