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State auditor tags Navotas for poor use of P100M eduk fund

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by Allan Yves Briones

The Commission on Audit (COA) flagged the city government of Navotas over its decision to invest P100M of its Special Education Fund (SEF) in a time deposit account instead of constructing or repairing school buildings.

“(It) defeats the purpose of the law in the levy of an additional tax for the establishment of the SEF in the local government, which is to supplement the annual budgetary needs for the operations and maintenance of public schools within the city,” COA stated in the 2018 annual audit report.

Sections 100(c) and 272 of Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991 provide guidelines for the utilization of the SEF, as approved by the local school board (LSB), including:

  • Operation and maintenance of public schools
  • Construction and repair or school buildings, facilities and equipment
  • Educational research
  • Purchase of books and periodicals
  • Sports development

Instead, the city government opted to move the funds to a High Yield Savings Account/Time Deposit Account (HYSA/TDA) with the Land Bank of the Philippines, making it appear that these were “excess funds.”

“(This is due to) the failure of the City LSB to efficiently allocate the Fund for (programs, projects and activities) that would benefit the elementary and secondary school system, K to 12 and Early Childhood Care and Development programs of the government,” COA added.

State auditors ordered the LSB to stop the practice of utilizing the SEF against the guidelines prescribed by law, and efficiently allocate existing funds by formulating priority education programs.

The city government of Navotas, as stated in the report, commented that the audit observation will be taken up before the LSB. #