No education fund prepared in Villaviciosa, Abra
There was no budget prepared for the Special Education Fund (SEF) for the municipality of Villaviciosa in Abra in 2015, depriving the public school students of the benefits from the fund, state auditors said.
In a 2016 report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said the SEF has remained idle, which meant the purpose of the fund was attained.
“Inquiry with management revealed that no approved budget including programs, projects and activities of the school board for the ensuing fiscal year was prepared and submitted to the Sangguiang Panlalawigan for review,” the auditors said.
“We noted zero utilization of fund hence purpose of the fund was not achieved,” they added.
The COA urged the municipal mayor Marjorie Montalbo to justify the lapses, and henceforth prepare that the SEF is duly supported with programs, projects and activities of the school board for the ensuing fiscal year.
The COA added that all planned programs or projects identified during the budget process be implemented within the time frame to meet the goals set, and deliver effective services to the public.
According to Section 99(c) of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code, the municipal school board should serve as an advisory committee to the Sanggunian on educational matters such as, but not limited to, the necessity for and the uses of local appropriations for educational purposes.
Section 100(b) of the same code states that “The district supervisor shall prepare the budget of the school board. Such budget shall be supported by programs, projects and activities of the school board for the ensuing fiscal year.”
According to Republic Act 5447 or the law that created the SEF, the SEF sourced from the one percent tax on real property should be spent on – organization and operation of extension classes; construction and repair of elementary school buildings; payment and adjustment of salaries of public school teachers; preparation, printing and/or purchase of textbooks, teachers’ guides, forms and pamphlets; purchase and/or improvement, repair and refurbishing of machinery, laboratory, technical and for schools offering vocational courses; purchase of teaching materials for elementary and secondary classes; among others.
Meanwhile, Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code states that the SEF should be spent on – operation and maintenance of public schools, construction and repair of school buildings, facilities and equipment, educational research, purchase of books and periodicals, and sports development as determined and approved by the Local School Board.
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