COA calls out Las Piñas for misuse of P91.5M SEF

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by Allan Yves Briones

In 2018, the city government of Las Piñas misused P91.5 million of the Special Education Fund (SEF) meant for the operation of public schools, according to the Commission on Audit (COA).

Under Section 272 of Republic Act No. 7160, the SEF should only be allocated for the operation and construction of school buildings, the purchase of facilities, equipment and books, sports development and education research.

Instead, according to state auditors, the city government allocated SEF funds for the construction of a 5-story Division Office for the Department of Education, and electrical expenses.

“The incurrence of the above expenses was not in accordance with…the revised guidelines on the use of the SEF,” the audit report reads.

Also in the report, the Local School Board (LSB) explained that while the Deped Division Office was constructed for the use of department officials, at least the first floor of the building was allocated for Alternative Learning Schools.

In addition, they said that they requested for their electrical expenses to be charged against the SEF because the funds coming from the National Office are insufficient.

The commission recommended that the LSB stop the practice of using SEF funds for purposes not provided under law, and to strictly comply with the revised guidelines mandated.